July 23, 2014

Guyanese batsmen dominate in opening round

Toronto & District Cricket Association Elite League…

Rajendra Chandrika

Rajendra Chandrika

From Ravendra Madholall in Toronto

Guyanese batsmen dominated with the bat in the opening round of the 2013 Toronto and District Cricket Association Elite 50-over League over the weekend at various venues across the city.

Former Guyana First-Class skipper Damodar Daesrath scored an attractive, unbeaten 70 to lead defending champion Brampton Masters Tranzac Cricket Club to a handsome victory over Gujarat at King City.

West Indies ODI player Royston Crandon chipped in with both bat and ball for Vikings Cricket Club who had mixed fortunes, winning only one of their two encounters while Guyana’s first-class opening batsman Rajendra Chandrika, also representing Vikings, stroked an impressive half-century (52).

Royston Crandon

Royston Crandon

Former Guyana Under-19 batsmen Dominique Rikhi and Riaz Kadir also chipped in with valuable scores for Victoria Park Cricket Club.

Chandrika and Kadir are in their debut overseas season and expressed great optimism that they will do well in the next three to four months. Chandrika, who played in Canada in 2010 representing Sagicor High Performance Centre team, which was organised by the West Indies Cricket Board, believes he can continue from where he left off in Guyana.

He related that his experience for the Sagicor side three years ago will be vital for his involvement with Vikings Cricket Club, saying his innings that led his side to victory has given him the impetus to do well.

 “I am thankful for the guys to have me in Canada; it is a great place to play cricket and I am confident I will do well on this first trip for a club; I was here in 2010 and that really gave me greater motivation to make an impression now, so hopefully I can fulfil my promise,” the 23-year-old right-handed batsman related.

He featured in 23 first-class matches for Guyana while he donned West Indies colours at the under-19 and A Team levels.

Dominique Rikhi

Dominique Rikhi

Meanwhile, Crandon is making his fourth trip to Canada and again is very optimistic to dominate the game as a versatile all-rounder. He related that the atmosphere is fantastic and the games are very competitive.

Representing West Indies is always in his memory and he is eager to don the colours again in the near future. He reckoned that as a cricketer coming and playing in North America with a number of players from around the world inspires him to do greater things on the field.

Both Rikhi and Kadir were anxious to begin the competition on a high note and eventually made an immediate impact with the bat. Kadir scored a fluent half-century (57) in his first game before he missed the second scheduled match on Sunday owing to an injury.  Rikhi scored 32 and 29 and stated that he wants to score more heavily and consistently and put his team in a winning position to lift the cup.

“It is my second season over here but I am really looking forward to it; the competition seemed very stiff and that is one of the reasons I am in North America to improve the standard of my game in all areas,” Rikhi, who plays for Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club, divulged.

On the other hand, Jamaican and former West Indies Under-19 skipper Andre Creary and West Indies and St Lucian limited overs player Gary Mathurin are expected to begin their stint this week in Toronto. Mathurin scored a century last year.

Guyanese and West Indies batsman Ryan Ramdass is already in Canada to continue his stint.

Action is set to resume on Saturday with a number of matches in Toronto.

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