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BARBADOS cricket

Mr Magic Stick!

Thursday 09, October-2003

By Philip Spooner in St John’s

That’s the way uh huh, uh huh, we like it!

In a most devastating display of power hitting, Dwayne Smith rushed Barbados to a sensational eight-wicket win as the champs stamped their superiority on Zone B in the Red Stripe Bowl One-Day competition, yesterday.

They hurried to 194 for two off 34.4 overs after limiting Guyana to 191 for nine at the Antigua Recreational Ground.

The 20-year-old Smith, who is quickly proving he’s one of the most sensational hitters in the region, gave another display of his immense strength, launching nine grand slam sixes in a stunning 92 not out that left the Guyanese bowlers shell-shocked, and gave Barbados four vital points.

It came off 70 balls, and the nine gigantic blows also assured his entry into the record books, the most by a batsman in a single innings in regional one-day cricket.

In the words of American rapper 50 Cents, Smith showed he has the Magic Stick, bruising the Guyanese hands, egos and hopes of advancing to the Final Four in Jamaica next week.

It was a match Barbados had to win. And win they did.

The plan was clear from the start, not just to win, but to make a statement while doing so – to show that Sunday’s defeat against Antigua was a stumble not a fall.

Dale Richards stroked a breezy 31 in adding 57 for the first wicket with Sherwin Campbell and then the curtain was drawn, introducing Smith.

He entered at 3:32 p.m., to little fanfare, as the crowd here k little of this man.

But for the next hour and six minutes he had the Guyanese on the field and in the crowd at sixes and sevens.

The first two sixes came off Lennox Cush’s innocuous off-spin and landed over midwicket. The next two came in the same over from Ramnaresh Sarwan – No.3 in the road, and No.4 further back into the city streets.

Then there was a pull off seamer Eusan Crandon over square-leg, and then a powerful smash off Mahendra Nagamootoo which Sarwan caught but pulled him over the rope at long on.

The next sailed into the top tier of the Andy Roberts Stand at long-on, narrowly missing the head of a small boy, and No.8 was a humongous straight drive onto the roof of the Sir Viv Richards Pavilion, a blow that the great man himself would have been proud of.

Finally and emphatically, Smith waved the wand and swept Neil McGarrell over square-leg to seal an historic victory. Man-Of-The-Match Smith was then embraced by partner Ryan Hinds and the two were saluted by the crowd as they left the field.

“I really felt great out there,” said the former Garrison Secondary School student. “I was asked to do a job at No.3 for the first time and I put my hand up. I did it for my country and would also like to dedicate it to my mother (Lorraine) and my family.”

Smith only found a place in the side after Kurt Wilkinson pulled out with a damaged thumb ahead of the last match. He was unlucky to be given out leg-before after a big inside edge on Sunday and he conceded 18 runs in the final over yesterday.

Task accepted

When skipper Courtney Browne asked him to launch an assault at No.3 ahead of the more experienced Hinds and Floyd Reifer, he k he had his magic moment. Guyana captain Shivnarine Chanderpaul again looked out of his depth, with some questionable field adjustments and mindboggling bowling changes. But he was not the only one at fault.

This Guyana side looked disorganised throughout and the body language of several senior players left a lot to be desired.

Campbell too found his form with a polished 62 with seven fours in 93 balls. He added 100 with Smith in 55 minutes of exhilarating strokeplay.

Earlier, all of Barbados’ bowlers set up the win, bowling back-of-a-length and strangling the Guyanese, who have a fixation with coming onto the front foot too early. The prized scalps of Chanderpaul and Sarwan were snuffed out to show the hours the Bajans spent in team meetings were not in vain.

Reifer made a great grab to his right at slip after Corey Collymore got an outswinger to leave Sarwan and then Ian Bradshaw sent Chanderpaul into the gloves of Browne from a sharp lifter. Vasbert Drakes and Pedro Collins were also sharp, and the fielding was of the highest order resulting in two run outs.

Off-spinner Ryan Hurley, for the second match, did not complete his quota but his eight overs maintained the pressure.

At 141 for nine it looked over, but the last pair of Crandon and Vishal Nagamootoo slogged 50 unbroken as the Bajans lost their shape.

But then Smith brought the contest back into perspective with several magic moments.

Compliments of the Barbados Nation News

 

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Dwayne Smith pommels another delivery six during his explosive 94 which came off just 63 balls at the 3Ws Oval against Jamaica yesterday. (Picture by Gordon Brooks.)

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