Clyde Butts Bats GNIC to Victory
In a thrilling encounter that went right down to the wire in fading light at the DCC ground yesterday, 54-year-old former Test player Clyde Butts unleashed a brutal assault on the DCC bowlers to lead GNIC to a pulsating four-wicket win with 3.2 over left in their two-day Carib/Heroes Cup first division cricket match.
Set a daunting 298 to win from a minimum of 41 overs after DCC declared their second innings closed at 187-6, GNIC galloped to victory as Butts, who clobbered six sixes and five fours in 85 and Shawn DeSouza, whose 79 was decorated with nine fours and four sixes, added 167 for the fifth wicket.
Dexter Solomon (17*) who made 33 in the first innings, finished the match with a swept boundary off Totaram Bishun after lofting him for a straight six in the over. He featured in an unfinished 40-run partnership with Keno Alphonso (21*) after national under-15 pacer Dexter George had removed both Butts and DeSouza in the space of 10 runs.
GNIC began the run-chase in enterprising fashion with Quency Ovid Richardson (47) smashing pacer Carlyle Baryon for four consecutive boundaries in the first over before Bishun, who captured 7-47 in DCC’s first innings, removed both openers to catches to long-off. Elton Baker (13) and David Dick (1) both seemed unlucky to be given out leg before and at 81-4 a GNIC win, even on the small ground, seemed as unlikely as Chris Gayle regaining his West Indies spot anytime soon.
But Butts, the chairman of the West Indies selectors who played the last of his seven Tests over 23 years ago, was promoted in the order and immediately signaled his intentions by lofting Bishun for two towering sixes. DeSouza dumped Bishun for a six and a four in an over which cost 22 and all of a sudden DCC were defending for dear life.
The experience of Butts, a veteran of 87 First-Class matches in the 1980s and early 1990s, and the appallingly low standard of the local first division bowling combined to swing the match in GNIC’s favour.
When Butts, with bad knees and all, disdainfully walked down the pitch and nonchalantly deposited the 15-year-old George onto Lance Gibbs Street to bring up his fifty a section of the vocal crowd jokingly threatened to report the Grandfather, whose son Collis was also in the GNIC team, for child abuse against the hapless pacer who was almost a quarter of his age.
The left-handed DeSouza was not to be left out. He pulled Griffith for a six and a four to reach his fifty before George returned for a second spell and had Butts caught at deep cover at 248-5 before bowling DeSouza 10 runs later.
But playing with 10 men because Gajanand Singh failed to show up yesterday and the decision to replace George with Bishun, who struggles to bowl defensively and conceded 25 in his last two overs aided in DCC’s demise as GNIC, who needed 112 off the last 15 overs, raced to victory.
Bishun took 3-89 and George 2-52 for DCC who had earlier dismissed GNIC for 125 in their first innings after they resumed the day on 54-5 replying to DCC’s 235.
DCC opted not to enforce the follow-on and after losing Andrew Lyght Junior, brilliantly caught by Clyde Butts at slip off Rawle Merrell with the first ball of their second innings, Jahron Byron who passed his previous best 48 not out against the same opponents last year stroked an attractive 70 with 10 fours and a six. Griffith made 32 and Omesh Danram 32 not out.
Barton dispatched Collis Butts for a four and two sixes in his three-ball unbeaten 16 after Danram had lofted the off-spinner for two sixes in the final over of the innings which cost 29 runs.
Merrell and Alphonso had two wickets each for GNIC who caught DCC with their guards down with a barrage of early blows which had them wobbling throughout the fight before Solomon’s boundary produced the knock-out punch in near darkness to give GNIC a sensational win.