Colin Thompson, The Royal Gazette
Appalling. Pathetic. Humiliating.
These were just some of the adjectives used last night to describe Bermuda's woeful performance at the Stanford 20/20 Tournament in Antigua.
During the inaugural event in 2006, Bermuda were skittled out for 74. Last night they plummeted to new depths by posting the tournament's lowest total - for the second time - in a humbling nine-wicket defeat at the hands of defending champions Guyana.
Bermuda coach Herbie Bascome was not amused over his team's dismal performance, to say the least.
"There's no excuse for them to go out there and play cricket the way they did. They have to back themselves and not be just fans of the game," he vented.
"At the end of the day the guys have to go out there and apply themselves as cricketers should do."
Skipper Irving Romaine admitted his team didn't show up on the night.
"There's no excuses, we played terrible and gave some soft dismissals," he lamented. "Guyana pounced on us and beat us to the ground."
Bermuda's susceptibility to spin was again ruthlessly exposed as Guyana's four-pronged spin attack spun a web of destruction in favourable conditions that entangled the opposition's batsmen.
Only English County star David Hemp showed good intent in a dashing 23 off 27 balls at the top of the order But once Hemp was comfortably taken behind, chasing after a wide delivery in the eighth over of the innings, Bermuda were completely derailed by a disciplined Guyana attack that slowed the run rate to a trickle - and kept wickets tumbling at both ends.
Apart from Glamorgan skipper Hemp, no other Bermuda batsmen reached double figures, with the Islanders only managing to find the boundary ropes on three occasions.
It look promising for Bermuda in the early stages as Hemp and fellow opener James Celestine (five) added 20 for the first wicket. But when the pair were removed in the space of four overs, Bermuda suffered a major collapse from which they never recovered.
Bermuda's fans put on a brave face in the stands as from 38 for two, Bermuda slumped to 57 for nine inside nine overs as Guyana put one foot into the next round.
Celestine, who never looked comfortable in his makeshift role as opener, got a top edge attempting to cut a delivery too close to him and was comfortably held backward of point.
Hemp soon followed after adding 18 runs for the second wicket with skipper Romaine (eight) to put Guyana firmly in control for the remainder of the match.
Up until this point Bermuda had coped reasonably well with the seamers. But once Guyana skipper Ramnaresh Sarwan unleashed his spinners, Bermuda found runs hard to come by and in desperation tried to hit their way out of trouble, only to be undone by a combination of superb bowling, sharp fielding and poor footwork at the crease.
Bermuda's next six wickets fell for the addition of just 10 runs with only the uncharacteristic soft hands of Lionel Cann (five) able to beat the field and find the vacant third-man boundary.
If there were any Bermudian batsmen with a chance to hit the clock and pocket the handsome $100,000 reward, Cann was among them. But on this occasion even his explosive bat was to be silenced as he gave a difficult catch at mid-on after playing too early into the shot and getting a leading edge.
And there would be no respite for Bermuda as their opponents continued to run through the order with consummate ease.
It soon became clear Bermuda would be defending an embarrassingly low total, despite stubborn resistance from tailenders Sammy Robinson (seven) and Traddie Simpson who saw out the remaining overs clutching to dear life. Bermuda eventually totalled 62/9.
Off spinner Lennox Cush was the pick of the Guyana bowling with three for nine.
With a place in the quarter finals now a formality, Guyana raced to victory in only 11.2 overs.
Jamaican-born pacer Simpson accounted for the sole Guyana wicket to fall - his first wicket in a Bermuda uniform during the Island's four-match tour of the Caribbean.