New boy Foo to the fore as Guyana see off Windwards

Jonathan Foo played the innings of his life on Friday evening as Guyana beat Windward Islands in Match 3 of the West Indies Cricket Board’s Caribbean T20 Tournament. The previously unheard of 19-year-old, in just his first knock at this level, made a brilliant 24 not out off just 10 balls as Guyana ended on 160-5 off 19.2 overs. At one stage they looked beaten chasing down 157-8 made by Windwards.

After Foo’s amazing display of power-hitting, fans at Kensington Oval were left asking: “Jonathan Who?” The soft-spoken lad from Berbice gave a light-hearted reply: “Jonathan Foo… and yes I’m Chinese”. It was typical of the fun-loving former Guyana Under-19 allrounder, who says he already feels at home in the dressing room.

“When I went in to bat the captain (Ramnaresh Sarwan) told me ‘just believe in yourself, we believe in you’. He told me it would be a lot of pressure but he also told be to play my own game and things would work out. That gave me the confidence to go out and do the job. Everyone was backing each other. We never gave up. Coming close to the end, there, it was a lot of runs against a few balls so I knew what I had to do,” he said.

He did it in style. The drama unfolded in the 18th over when Foo smashed two fours and a big straight six off left-arm spinner Gairy Mathurin. “I was really happy when I got the runs in that over to bring us back into the match. I knew I could not lose my wicket … I still had to go on … at that point the match was not finished and I was glad I was there at the end when we won the match.”

Opening batsman Travis Dowlin won the Man-of-the-Match award for his 60 off 52 balls. He was full of praise for Foo. “Every tournament we somehow produce a player who surprises everyone. We all know Foo is a good player and it was good to see the way he performed. I tried my best to give us that solid start at the top and I was really happy that Foo finished it for us.”

For the win Guyana earned four points. Their next match is against Combined Campuses & Colleges on Sunday at 2 pm (1 pm Jamaica Time).