The Last Stand

The British West Indian Airways (BWIA) flight scheduled to bring Lloyd to Guyana had been rescheduled for Friday morning. As play began, Bee Wee, as it was called, was delayed again, living up to the popular interpretation of its acronym, But Will It Arrive?

Bacchus and Etwaroo opened the innings on a wicket which showed early signs of life. Guyana was soon in trouble, as Bacchus hooking at the gentle medium pace of the opening bowler Larry Gomes presented an easy catch to Joseph at mid-on. Eleven for one, with Bacchus accounting for all the scoring. Harper followed soon after, caught at the wicket, off the last ball of Burns’ third over; 16 for 2.

Kalli had hardly settled and Etwaroo, attempting to cut a short pitched delivery from Gomes, only succeeded in dragging it on to his stumps; 24 for 3. Pydanna, just off his first tour with the West Indies joined his captain. The pair added 35 before, Gomes got an edge off the bat from his Pakistan tour teammate, and Cuffy at slip accepted the catch; 59 for 4. Pydanna dismissed for 12.

Derek Kallicharran joined his older sibling in the middle for the first time in a first-class game at Bourda, and the two lefthanders set about restoring the innings. At lunch, Guyana were 73 for 4, with Alvin on 25 and Derek on 10. The BWIA flight was supposed to be leaving Trinidad soon.

The order came directly from the President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana: ‘Be on the tarmac at Timehri when the BWIA plane arrives from Trinidad. Guyana needs Lloyd at Bourda.’   It’s not difficult to imagine President Burnham issuing such a directive since his personal intervention in bringing Lloyd home in 1973 when the WICBC had not selected him for the home series against the Australians, had led to him regaining a place in the West Indies side

The twin engine yellow chopper emblazoned with red and green stripes and registration number 8RGDQ, climbed swiftly to 2,000 feet. Major London accelerated to 120 knots per hour, equivalent of 138 miles per hour, as he flew to Georgetown. Twelve minutes later he was descending at the site of the 1763 Monument on Vlissengen Road. Three minutes later Lloyd entered the gate between the two pavilions, on New Garden Street and sprinted to the dressing room.

West Indian Captain Clive Lloyd’s arrival was greeted with thunderous applause. He had still had to change his shoes and adjust his thigh pad at the wicket, before he was ready to commence battle. At the other end his captain, Kalli, was holding the fort, playing with restraint and caution. Lloyd wasted no time in taking the attack to the bowlers, straight driving Jumadeen for four, and later on for a lofty six.

The two left-handers soon imposed their will on the inning as the pendulum swung in Guyana’s favour. By the close Guyana had recovered to 275 for 6, with Kalli on 128 and Lloyd on 71.  Their unbroken partnership had produced 163 in just under three hours.

Lloyd was dropped by Joseph off of his own bowling when he was on 136, before Aneuil Rajah took a great catch at deep mid-on off Jumadeen to dismiss the WI Skipper. His innings of 144 had lasted 281 minutes, and included thirteen 4s and four 6s. As he departed to a standing ovation from the appreciative crowd, the TOTAL on the scoreboard read 398. The seventh wicket partnership had produced 286 runs, passing the previous Shell Shield record of 149 set by the Barbadian duo of Emerson Trotman and Malcolm Marshall against the Combined Islands in 1980 at Kensington Oval, Barbados.

Abu Jihad posted:

Thanks Riff, that brought back a lot of childhood memories.

Nothing like cricket back in the day....Guyana is back at the top in cricket in the Caribbean...now they need to some breakout stars to make it to the next level

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