Foo does it again as Guyana lift Caribbean T20 trophy

Guyana’s Jonathan Foo produced a magical display of power-hitting to stun Barbados and single-handedly won the inaugural West Indies Cricket Board’s Caribbean T20 title for his country. Before Saturday’s epic final match, the 19-year-old right-hander had showed great enterprise but he saved the best for the last night at Queen’s Park Oval in Port-of-Spain.

Foo struck four crunching boundaries – including two off the first two balls of the final over – and three magnificent sixes in an unbeaten 42 from 17 balls that turned the game completely. He entered the arena with Guyana tottering on 72-5 at the end of the 14th over. He however remained calm and played to his strength – which is hitting straight – much to the delighted of many of his countrymen in the large crowd of over 12 000, and millions around the world viewing on the match on ESPN and ESPN2.

For their brilliant effort Guyana won the sparkling, new Caribbean T20 trophy, which was presented to skipper Ramnaresh Sarwan by Dr Julian Hunte, President of the West Indies Cricket Board. They have also took home a cheque for US25 000 and booked a place in the Airtel Champions League, to be played in South Africa in September.

Foo, the son of a Chinese father and Indian mother, shared an unbeaten last wicket stand on 24 from 11 balls with last man Devendra Bishoo, who had the honour of hitting the winning run. At that point the Guyanese fans were overcome with joy and ran onto the field to celebrate with their new baby-faced heroes. It was extra-special night for the two lads from Albion in Berbice, as Foo was named Man-of-the-Match and Bishoo was adjudged the CT20’s Most Valuable Player for his brilliant leg-spin bowling.

“For me, I have a simple method …. I see the ball and I hit it … full stop,” Foo said. “I feel really great to win for Guyana. For the first few games (of CT20) I felt comfortable but tonight was a little different … I was really nervous at the beginning. When I started to strike the ball I settled down and just played my natural game. I kept looking at the scoreboard. I knew once Bishoo stayed with me I could win the match for Guyana,” Foo said.

Sarwan was full of praise for Foo and said he is a special talent. “The difference between the two teams tonight was one man and that man is Jonathan Foo. For someone so young to go out there and do what he did for the country, under such pressure, is truly remarkable. He was sensational and he’s the reason why we are happy and all Guyanese are happy tonight.”