Fudadin, Christian see off Leewards
l NORTH SOUND
A crucial sixth wicket stand between Assad Fudadin and Derwin Christian helped Guyana overcome a mid-innings wobble to easily get past Leeward Islands and make a positive start to their Regional Super50 campaign here Thursday.
Chasing an inadequate 163 for victory, Guyana were cruising at 87 for one before losing four wickets for 28 runs to slump to 115 for five.
However, Fudadin stroked an unbeaten 26, while Christian finished on 22, as Guyana easily reached their target in the 46th over to win by five wickets at the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium.
Left-hander Leon Johnson top scored with 30, Rajendra Chadrika chipped in with 28 while Chris Barnwell (22) and Trevon Griffith (21) also played key roles. Off-spinner Justin Athanaze finished with two for 24.
Winning the toss and batting, the Leewards were dismissed for 162 off 43.2 overs, with Jahmar Hamilton getting 40 from 45 balls with four fours, Montcin Hodge, 33, and Rahkeem Cornwall 21.
Barnwell was instrumental, picking up four for 31 with his right-arm medium pace while West Indies leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo weighed in with three for 35.
Leewards struggled from the outset to be three wickets down for 56 in the 16th over, after they lost Austin Richards (1), Cornwall and then Steve Liburd (six).
Hodge was molding an innings together when he edged Bishoo to Johnson at slip to depart at 73 for four in the 22nd over and when Sylvester Joseph drove Barnwell tamely to Veerasammy Permaul at cover for ten in the 27th over, the hosts were in a tangle at 85 for five.
However, Hamilton shepherded the lower order, adding 36 for the sixth wicket with Tonito Willett (16) before eking out precious runs at the end.
In reply, Guyana lost Griffith in the ninth over at 30 for one, but Johnson and Chandrika added 47 for the second wicket to stabilise the innings.
Both batsmen then departed with just two runs added when Chandrika was run out by Joseph and Johnson was brilliantly held at long off by Richards off Athanaze.
Johnson faced 66 balls and struck four fours.
Steven Jacobs fell first ball to Athanaze and Leewards were back in the game when Barnwell holed out to long on in the 34th over at 115 for five after striking three fours and a six off 21 balls, the Leewards were in with a chance.
The experienced Fudadin and Christian squashed the hosts' hopes, however, expertly guiding their side to their target.