By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
Jonathon Barry and Mark Taylor combined for 150 runs to help the Bahamas win the NAGICO T20 Cricket Tournament for the third consecutive year.
While Barry topped the chart with 80, Taylor followed with 70 as the Bahamas batted first and posted 206 runs in 20 wickets to stake their claim to the title at Haynes Oval on Sunday.
Before a very good crowd of spectators, Guyana responded with just 164 as they fell short behind Donovan Matthew’s 48 and Ryan Tappin’s 44.
Held under the auspices of the Bahamas Cricket Association, the two-day tournament comprised of four teams, featuring the locally based players that formed the Bahamas, Guyana, Jamaica and the Rest of the World.
On day one on Saturday, Guyana punched their ticket into the final by knocking off the Rest of the World. While the Rest of the World was 128 all out, Guyana was 131 for no losses. Tappin was 64 for the man of the match.
In a more keenly contested match that followed, Jamaica had 189, but the Bahamas responded with 191 to power their way into the final. W. Atkinson was 82 to earn the Man of the Match award.
Before the final was played on Sunday, the Rest of the World and Jamaica played for third place. While the Rest of the World could only muster 148, Jamaica was 148, thanks to Mark Levy’s 64 effort for the Man of the Match honour.
Barry was not only named the man of the match, but he also carted off the Man of the Series title.
“I feel good about our performance. I felt our team played very good and hard. We played as a unit and we finally came out on top,” Barry said.
As for the individual accolades, Barry said he was pleased to have won them.
“I’m always a team player. I’m always getting good advice from people and I like to play hard in everything that I do,” he said. “It’s good that we won the tournament too.”
Bahamas team captain Greg Taylor Jr said the team performed up to expectations.
“The competition was a little better this year and Guyana was having a lot of smart talk, so we did what we had to do to get the win,” Taylor Jr said. “Mark Taylor, Jonathon Barry, Atkinson, bowler Gerry Gittens, all of those guys performed very well. Without them, we couldn’t win the game.”
Taylor Jr said it’s just good to hold onto bragging rights over their rival countries for another year and he thanked NAGICO for coming forward and sponsoring the tournament, providing the uniforms for all of the teams, plus the food and drinks for the spectators.
Guyana made a gallant effort to pull off the upset, but John Dolphin said time was not on their side.
“Losing was a disappointment, but today I think the better team won,” Dolphin said. “We didn’t bowl and field as well as we could because yesterday (Saturday), we had a much better performance. So I think we allowed them to get too far ahead of us and it came back to haunt us at the end.
“But I’m pleased that we got into the final. It’s just unfortunate that we lost the game. The guys were concerned about the weather and thinking that maybe if it had gotten too dark, we would have had to go to the run rate. So we opted to go after quick runs instead of trying to play to win in the overs.”
Stuart Tavares, speaking on behalf of sponsor NAGICO, said they are committed to sponsoring sports in the Bahamas and cricket is their choice.
He said while the company has a strong base throughout the Caribbean, they intend to build on their partnership with the BCA in the Bahamas.