Master Blasters Go Under To Guyana, Sets Up Crucial Rematch

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The Antigua and Barbuda Master Blasters crashed to a surprising four-wicket defeat against Guyana when they clashed in the first round of the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA), Independence Tri20 Cricket Tournament on Sunday night
Playing at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, Guyana successfully chased 171 for victory after the home team had amassed 170 for 5 in their 20 overs.
The visitors were led by Jonathan Foo who made 70 not out while seasoned campaigner Leon Johnson made 34 runs.
Windies speedster Alzarri Joseph was the pick of the bowlers for Antigua and Barbuda, claiming three wickets for 26 runs in his four overs while Kerry Mentore had two wickets for 45 runs in his three overs.
Coach of the Guyana team, Esuan Crandon, said the plan was to bat through Joseph and Rahkeem Cornwall but go after the other Antiguan bowlers.
“We knew that Alzarri was the trump card for them along with Rahkeem Cornwall but Rahkeem didn’t have a good night and so that made our job a little bit easier. We backed ourselves to score 10 or 12 runs in the last two or three overs on the other bowlers they [Antigua] have,” he said.
Despite the threat posed by the two Windies players, Crandon said his players were always confident they would successfully chase the daunting total. 
“The mindset is still good, the guys are still up and ready for the task at hand. We had our chances [in the game against Guyana] but it’s just that we just didn’t execute as well as we can. The next game coming up, we hope we do a better job. We have a little blemish here and there in the camp like some situations but we will work on those stuff,” Crandon said.
Earlier, out of favour Leeward Islands all-rounder, Orlando “Baby” Peters, made 54 and Mentore had 43 as the Master Blasters amassed the respectable total. Romario Shepherd was the only bowler of note for Guyana with three wickets for 31 runs.
Coach of the Antigua and Barbuda Master Blasters, Derrol “Mussai” Thomas, said his players are still in good spirits despite the loss and will be ready for Tuesday’s rematch against Guyana, signaling the start of round two.
“We know it’s a good wicket to bat on and with our resources because we have a very lengthy batting order. If you look at 1 to 11 [in the batting order], all of the guys are capable of batting well so there was a lot of confidence in the dressing room at the same time. We knew it would not have been easy but we knew we had to fight to get a victory and we did exactly that,” the coach said.
All three teams in the tournament have won one and lost one match thus far.
On Tuesday, Antigua and Barbuda Master Blasters face Guyana at 7 p.m. while on Wednesday, Guyana face Jamaica also at 7 p.m.
Master Blasters had opened their campaign on a winning note, beating Jamaica by five wickets on Friday night before Jamaica defeated Guyana by 50 runs on Saturday night.

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