Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
West Indies batsmen Narsingh Deonarine and Assad Fudadin yesterday thanked the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) and Kingston Cricket Club for allowing them to participate in the opening round of the two-day Senior Cup cricket competition at Sabina Park on the weekend.
The Guyanese, who were scheduled to leave the region last week with the West Indies cricket team but were left stranded in Jamaica due to their home country not having a United Kingdom high commission, and a delay in the process of acquiring a visa, got valuable practice with the bat and in the case of Deonarine with the ball, as Kingston and Lucas played to an exciting draw in a rain-affected match.
The 28-year-old Deonarine, who returned to the West Indies team during the recent Australian tour, made one and 74, while the 26-year-old Fudadin, who was called up for the final Test of the tour, scored five and 70.
A great opportunity
"I haven't played a cricket game since the regional four-day semi-finals against Jamaica, just practising in the nets," said Fudadin.
"So it was good to get this two-day game in and cricket ready. I got a good ball in the first innings, but I was able to bat a lot of balls in the second innings and feel much better.
"My feet were getting to the pitch of the ball. I was picking up the length much better and I was watching the ball much closer," he explained.
"Nothing beats playing cricket and as it turned out, it was a very good game. I want to thank the JCA and Kingston Cricket Club for making us play this two-day game," he added.
The game, which was one of eight on the weekend, saw Lucas claiming first-innings honours, despite having to hang on in the closing stages to prevent an outright loss.
Batting first, Kingston were dismissed for 77 with former national Under-19 batsman Garth Garvey topscoring with 35 against Dwayne Guthrie, four for 22, and part-time off-spinner, Ramon Senior, two for 10.
Lucas, in reply, was then restricted to 87, with Deonarine claiming four for 27 and left-arm spinner Fredrick Hermit, four for 17.
Kingston fared much better in the second innings, posting 264 for six declared with Garvey, 30 not out and Chadwick Walton, 20, getting starts to complement the effort of Deonarine and Fudadin. Senior took four for 102.
Set 255 for victory, Lucas closed the day on 73 for eight, with Deonarine pocketing six for 12 to complete a fine match.
"I think myself and Fudadin made full use of the opportunity as, after losing first innings, we made a good fight of the game and had it not been for the rain, would have had a good chance of winning outright," said Deonarine.
"I want to thank the Jamaica Cricket Association, Kingston Cricket Club and Andrew Richardson (West Indies Players Association secretary) for making it possible.
"We are just now awaiting a response from the UK embassy here over the next day or two, after which we look forward to joining up with the team and taking our spots on the tour," he added.