Mohabir Balgobin struck a master class century but it wasn’t enough to salvage a win for Guyana against Lagaan. Balgobin batted with class, elegance and maturity, as he dug his team out from 32 for 5 to a respectable 197 for 6 and shared a sixth-wicket partnership of 164 with Lenroy Bruce.
On Sunday, August 9th at Franklin Field in Boston, Guyana without several of their top players won the toss and electing to take first strike, soon found themselves in serious trouble with Sai Vajha and Joginder Saini reducing them to 32 for 5 in the 8 overs. Both bowlers were pacey and swung the ball, but it was Manpreet Singh who landed the biggest blow when he had Sharaz Baksh caught behind for nine.
Mohabir Balgobin (101) and Lenroy Bruce (46 not out) battled like true champions, with Balgobin playing every ball on its merit, and grew in confidence as the inning progressed. Playing some of the most exquisite shots the spectators saw all season, Bruce was happy to play the anchor roll and supported to perfection, while rotating the strike regularly and hitting occasional boundaries. Balgobin brought up his century in the 40th over with a lofted cover drive that flew for six, but was unfortunately run out on the last ball of the inning while attempting a second run. Guyana 197 for 6 in 40 overs. Sai Vajha was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 43 off 8, with one wicket apiece going to Joginger Saini and Manpreet Singh.
Lagaan also lost two early wickets but a third-wicket partnership of 110 between Sai Vajha (55) and Bhamin Chatrapati (48) laid a solid foundation for the middle and lower orders to capitalize. Lagaan reached their target of 198 in the 39th over with Aakash Shah and Nikhil Lavana unbeaten on 22 and 12 respectively.
Guyana ruined its chance of a victory, after their fieldsmen put down three catches that could have changed the result of the game.
Mohabir Balgobin was again the standout performer with the ball picking up 3 for 41. Baksh, Lall Balgobin and Lenroy Bruce each picked up a wicket.