Maiden First-Class ton: A moment to savour for Savory
By Avenash Ramzan
If there is any Guyanese cricketer on top of his game at the moment, it’s Kemol Savory, the wicketkeeper/batsman, born and bred in Adventure on the Essequibo Coast.
The last six months have been quite an adventure for the 26-year-old, who has been reeling off runs almost at will, and in the process staking a claim for a long-term spot in a Guyana Harpy Eagles middle-order in the midst of a transition.
Savory has been on the fringes of the national set-up ever since his youth days, and the summit, at least for now, is a maiden First-Class century in just his third game last week against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in the West Indies Four-Day Championship.
An unbeaten 101 in the second innings at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba allowed Harpy Eagles to declare and set the hosts a huge target of 412.
The Darren Bravo-led Red Force fell short by 143 runs, a commanding victory that solidified Harpy Eagles’ position at the top of the table.
“It’s a dream come true for me. You know I always dreamt about this moment,” Savory told News Room Sport.
“Getting to a 100 in First-Class cricket I guess has been the dream of every little boy who played cricket and for me it’s no different. I have accomplished my dream.”
“This is one of those moments that is beyond description. All I could say it’s everything you could imagine it to be.”
Reflecting on the knock, the left-hander said maneuvering the nervous 90s was a tough period, having to manage the many thoughts that crossed his mind.
“It took a lot of concentration,” he admitted.
Savory brought up the milestone with a firm push to mid-off off the bowling of spinner Bryan Charles and sprinted off for a single, a moment he believes will forever be etched in his memory.
Savory, the Essequibo Cricket Board’s Senior Cricketer-of-the-Year 2022, has been putting the national selectors on notice since October last when he made a belligerent unbeaten 108 for Essequibo against the President’s XI in the Inter-County 50-over competition at Everest.
In January this year, he struck a superb 170 for Tagenarine Chanderpaul XI against Veerasammy Permaul XI in a Guyana Harpy Eagles Four-Day practice match at the National Stadium, Providence.
And in early March, the father of one scored an even, unbeaten hundred in the second innings to set up a massive 271-run win for Essequibo over the Select XI in round one of the Guyana Cricket Board’s Senior Inter-County Four-Day Championship at the National Stadium.
A strong focus on fitness and a solid support network, Savory pointed out, have been the reasons for his consistency in productivity in recent times.
“I work really hard on my fitness and my game- day in, day out,” he stressed.
“I’m a good mental place right now, and the support of my family, my wife and son has been the greatest boost.”
With Harpy Eagles set to play their final two games at home, starting March 22 and 29, Savory is sure to have his band of loyal supporters from Essequibo cheering from the stands.
It’s a sort of homecoming for Guyana’s newest First-Class centurion, having played all his regional matches overseas.
Surely, Savory will want to make it a moment to savour, just like he did a week ago in Tarouba.
Following the victory against Red Force, Harpy Eagles have extended their lead at the top of the Championship heading into the final two rounds.
Crucially, the Harpy Eagles’ final two games are at the National Stadium, Providence, a home venue where they have virtually been unbeatable.
That means Leon Johnson’s men are in a prime position to retain a title they won five years in succession from the 2014-15 season.
With two wins and a draw from the three completed rounds, Harpy Eagles have moved to 49 points, 11.2 clear of Windward Islands Volcanoes, who have 37.8 points. Leeward Islands Hurricanes are third on 34.2 points.
Like Harpy Eagles, Volcanoes and Hurricanes also won their third round encounter, defeating Jamaica Scorpions by 181 runs and Barbados Pride by two wickets respectively.
Barbados Pride (31.2), Trinidad and Tobago Red Force (24.8) and Jamaica Scorpions (15.4) occupy positions fourth to sixth respectively on the points table.
REMAINING MATCH SCHEDULE
GNS– Guyana National Stadium, Guyana
BLCA- Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad
QPO– Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad
CCG– Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua
ROUND 4: March 22 to 25
Guyana Harpy Eagles vs Jamaica Scorpions at GNS
Trinidad and Tobago Red Force vs Barbados Pride at QPO
Leeward Islands Hurricanes vs Windward Islands Volcanoes at BLCA
ROUND 5: March 29 to April 1
Guyana Harpy Eagles vs Leeward Islands Hurricanes at GNS
Trinidad and Tobago Red Force vs Jamaica Scorpions at BLCA
Barbados Pride vs Windward Islands Volcanoes at QPO
Headley Weekes Tri-Series
All matches to be played at CCG, Antigua
Match 1: April 19 to 22: Team Headley vs West Indies Academy
Match 2: April 26 to 29: Team Weekes vs West Indies Academy
Match 3: May 3 to 6: Team Weekes vs Team Headley