Gajnabi’s grit, Mangru’s magic lead Guyana to 1st win

Colonial Medical Insurance Women’s Super50 Cup…

By Brandon Corlette

The Guyana girls have finally registered a victory in the Colonial Medical Insurance Women’s Super50 Cup tournament, completing a 131-run defeat of a jaded Leeward Islands team at the Enmore Community Centre ground.

The big fish gone! Leeward Islands celebrating the wicket of Shemaine Campbelle
(Brandon Corlette photos)

A sparkling run-a-ball 78 from Shabika Gajnabi led the Guyanese to 240-9 in 50 overs, while Mandy Mangru followed up her 35 with the bat with 4-22 to restrict the Leeward Islands to 109, scored in 34.5 overs.
It all began in glorious sunshine at the Enmore Community Centre, where faithful supporters bedecked in colourful wear gathered to witness Guyana play the Leeward Islands and hopefully emerge victorious. The Leeward Islands won the toss and elected to field first on a dry pitch supporting spinners. Opening batters Mandy Mangru and Sheneta Grimmond had the best opening stand for the Guyanese in this tournament. The duo added 72 runs for the opening wicket, when Grimmond was out caught in the leg-side for a shot-filled 37 from 36 balls, hitting six timely fours.

Mandy Mangru bowling during her 4-22

That brought to the crease the in-form Guyana captain Shemaine Campbelle, who did not last long. She was out leg-before to Rozel Liburd for five, with the score on 94-2. Mandy Mangru, however, stood firm in her marathon innings of 35 from 87 balls as she batted for 131 minutes.
Mangru and Shabika Gajnabi added 49 runs to the score before the Guyanese were reduced to 143-3 when Mangru fell for a well-played 35. Gajnabi, the Corentyne girl from Chesney in Albion, played her shots in fearless fashion, although she lost her partners in Akaze Thompson (10) and Melanie Henry (02), who both fell to Seneldo Willet.

Sheneta Grimmond hit six boundaries during her 37

At 183-5, Tremayne Smartt came to the crease to partner her fellow Berbician Gajnabi, who was already blazing away on a half-century. Gajnabi and Smartt added 48 valuable runs to the score before Smartt was bowled by Melicia Clarke for a run-a-ball 21, after batting for 30 minutes.
The special Gajnabi innings of 78 runs from 78 balls lasted 109 minutes, as she hit seven boundaries before she was out bowled with the score on 225.
The 250-run mark was out of reach after the Guyanese batters failed to rotate the strike in the middle overs. Nevertheless, the hosts reached a respectable 240-9 in 50 overs, with 44 extras on offer. Bowling for the Leeward Islands, Seneldo Willet had 3-30 in five overs, while Melicia Clarke grabbed 2-22 in six overs.
In reply, Leeward Islands had a poor start, as the ever-consistent Erva Giddings got the early breakthrough, removing Jenisen Richards for a duck with the score on 5-1.
The Leeward Islands team were further reduced to 17-2 in the eighth over when the impressive Tremayne Smartt uprooted the stumps of Jamella Mc Clurle.
Wickets continued to fall for the Leeward Islands, but the big hiccup came when the Guyanese struck thrice with the score on 67, with off-spinner Mandy Mangru and Akaze Thompson bowling in tandem. Mangru was brilliant, ending with 4-22 in 7.5 overs; while Thompson had 2-26 in a complete bowling effort.
Shabika Gajnabi was awarded player of the match for her stellar innings and the catch of the day, which she took at the edge of the boundary.
Guyana will play their next match against the undefeated Barbados on Saturday March 23 at the National Stadium at Providence.