Demerara closed day one in a commanding position against GT&T Berbice in their third and final round match of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Senior Inter County competition at the Everest Cricket Club ground yesterday.
After dismissing GT&T Berbice for 168, Demerara’s batsmen batted with assurance to reach 87/1 at stumps.
GT&T Berbice won the toss and batted but were setback by the seam of Paul Wintz and off spin of Zaheer Mohammed early in their innings to be shakily placed on 58 for 5 in the 15th over. They lost Opening batsman Richard Ramdeen (31), Gajanand Singh (01), first round century maker Sewnarine Chattergoon (13), West Indies middle order batsman Assad Fudadin (03) and Zamal Khan (04) cheaply thanks to incisive bowling from Wintz and Mohamed.
Delbert Hicks and Jason Sinclair hit back to add 72 for the sixth wicket, with Hicks hitting Shaquille Williams for his only six, pushing GT&T Berbice to 82 for 5 at lunch, with his contribution 14 and Sinclair’s, eight.
After lunch, Hicks cut loose with a four through point off the bowling of Mohammed. Then both batsmen struck boundaries off Khan as GT&T Berbice, who leads the points table with 24 points from two outright wins, looked to rebuild.
The Rose Hall Town Gizmos and Gadgets pair brought up their team’s 100 from 29.2 overs before Hicks was lbw to Mohammed for the top score of 40 which included three fours and one six and came off 83 balls.
He was quickly followed by Sinclair who was also lbw to Mohamed for 36 with two boundaries along the carpet and one maximum. All-rounder Clinton Pestano struck one six in 12 before he too departed, leaving Berbice on 153/8.
Khan, who pierced the gap between the bat and pad of Pestano to bowl him, soon wrapped up the innings removing Eon Hooper (06) and Gudakesh Motie-Kanhai (05) in quick succession as GT&T Berbice were dismissed for their eventual score of 168 off 57.3 overs.
Wintz 4-32, Khan 3-28 and Mohammed 3 for 47 were the wicket-takers for Demerara who, in their reply, lost opening batsman Robin Bacchus cheaply.
Bacchus was caught by Keon Joseph at backward square leg off Hooper but not before the bowler was struck over wide long on by Rajendra Chandrika for six in his first over.
Demerara reached their 50 from 10.2 overs and at the close of play on the first day, were 87 for 1 off 30 overs, with Chandrika striking three fours a six on his way to a breezy 46 and Shemroy Barrington 17. Demerara batted with the ease of being in familiar conditions, and their method of scoring briskly without undue risk will worry GT&T Berbice, who must win this match; or take first innings points if the match is drawn, to win the tournament. Hooper is the lone wicket taker for GT&T Berbice, with Bacchus being his victim at the cost of 18 runs off six overs thus far.