Crandon looking to take positives to T&T
GEORGETOWN, GUYANA - No one was more delighted - apart from the players on the field - with Guyana's final day innings and 66-run victory over Barbados on Monday at the Kensington Oval than the team’s coach Esaun Crandon.
The 30-year-old all-rounder who gave Guyana yeoman service in 38 first class matches where he scored 702 runs with a top score of 51* (against Windwards) along with 90 wickets with a best of 7 for 125, would best be remembered for his whirlwind 36-ball 71 against Jamaica in the quarterfinals of the 2006 Stanford 20/20 tournament.
But Guyana’s humiliating defeat over Barbados would have been one of Crandon’s glorious moments in his coaching career so far, as he not only guided his team to the win, but also ensured Barbados were dismissed for their lowest first class score in West Indies cricket since it attracted sponsorship from 1966.
In an invited comment with Chronicle Sport after the resounding victory over the home team, Crandon expressed his delight in the win, while showering praise on his team whom he felt played consistent and attacking cricket throughout the four days.
“Honestly, I must say that I am very proud and happy for this win. The guys played well throughout the four days along with good batting from skipper Shivnarine Chanderpaul along with half-centuries from Narsingh Deonarine, Assad Fudadin and Ramnaresh Sarwan.
Also, Brandon Bess’ last-wicket partnership with Shiv played an important part in this win, especially with the way the wicket was playing late yesterday (third day). That ensured we got a lead of over 100 and the bowlers came on and did a very good job, with credit going to Narsingh,” said Crandon.
The part-time off-spinner who took a career-best 7 for 26, engineered Barbados’ collapse the previous day when he removed opener Omar Phillips without scoring in the third over, followed by the prized wicket of Kraigg Brathwaite early on the final day.
“Narsingh placed the balls in the right areas, getting the home team’s batsmen in trouble and together with the close-to-the-wicket catching by our guys, including Fudadin who took five catches in the innings and Ronsford Beaton’s consistent line and length from the other end, we came out on top.”
What made the win against Barbados more pleasurable for Crandon and his team is the fact that over the past three years, Guyana’s performances in Regional cricket has been on the decline as the team found themselves in either the cellar or just above cellar position.
This time around, they are in line for a semifinal position, having recorded three wins out of their five matches, suffering losses to four-time defending champions Jamaica (who have a perfect 5-0 record) and the Windward Islands.
Looking back at the hurdles his team were faced with, including their gear being left behind when they touched down in Barbados last Wednesday, Crandon said “To be honest, while I did know we would win following Shiv and Bess’ last-wicket partnership, I did not foresee us doing so this early.
During the course of the third day, as Shiv and Bess were increasing our lead, I knew we would put them under pressure as they were some rough areas that our spinners needed to exploit and they did so well to their advantage and Barbados’ disadvantage.”
He added, “We are buoyed with the win and going into the game against Trinidad, we will definitely be taking all the positives from this game into that. We will not be taking them lightly as even though they are missing some key players, they are still a good team.
We will be looking to play better cricket than they in all departments, looking for a win as that will help cement for us, a place in the semifinals, where we have not played for a long time.”
Many cricket enthusiasts would have wondered how the players would have responded to Crandon as a coach, knowing that just last year he was on the field of play alongside them, but the soft-spoken Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club player said he laid down his rules from day one.
“The assistant coach David Harper and I sat down with the players and let them know what we expect of them, while at the same time we informed them of what we will be bringing to the table and to date, we have enjoyed a fabulous working relationship.
David has been excellent with the team and his ability to identify faults in some players and work on them immediately speaks volumes and along with the players, we enjoy a fabulous working relationship together, with him bringing new ideas to our training sessions,” said Crandon.
The Guyanese left Barbados for Trinidad yesterday, where they will take on the Ryad Emrit-led Twin Island Republic team in their final preliminary round matchup at the Queen’s Park Oval from Friday.