Led by a fine all-round performance from Vijay Surujpaul, Essequibo sent Berbice crashing to an upset defeat as the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB)/Castrol-sponsored under-15 Inter-county tournament continued at the Anna Regina ground yesterday.
Replying to their opponents’ meagre total of 145 made from 48.2 of their allotted 50 overs, Berbice who lost two wickets in the first over of their innings, were bowled out for 84 from 34.1 overs with Surujpaul, who made 27 when his team batted, grabbing 4-15.
Starting their reply 30 minutes before lunch the Berbicians lost Trevor Thomas (00) and Jamal Henry (00) to be 0-2 at the end of the first over.
Kevin Ramdeen tried to hit his team out of trouble striking Ravindra Persaud for a six and four off successive balls but he was caught by Ahmad Khan off the bowling of Mark Tyrell at 12-3 in the fourth over.
Danger man Veerapen Permaul got into his stride with a sweetly-timed boundary off his legs to fine leg as Berbice limped to the interval on shaky legs being 22-3 after a mere six overs.
The script was no different after lunch even though Permaul struck both Khan and Surujpaul for boundaries.
He was eventually bowled by the latter and, coupled with the dismissals of Lloydel Lewis (03), Linden Austin (05) and Bisham Deolall (00) at 47-7 in the 17th over it was all over bar the shouting.
Skipper Shawn Pereira (08) and Shalindra Shameer (15) attempted to repair the damage done by Surujpaul and when the skies opened up at 2:56pm, Berbice were 70-7 after 27 overs.
When play resumed at 3:50pm, the equation according to the Duckworth/Lewis system was 75 more runs from 19 overs.
Essequibo reaped early success on the resumption of play, when Pereira was caught by wicketkeeper Faizul Karim off Tyrell without any addition to the total.
The Berbicians were bowled out when Shameer was adjudged lbw to Tyrell and Jamal Jarvis lost his leg stump to Khan.
Tyrell who took 3-18 and Khan 2-14, offered tremendous support to Surujpaul who was later declared the man of the match.
Earlier, Essequibo sent in received a good start from Herry Greene (07) and Surujpaul (27) who added 25 for the first wicket.
Greene was then caught by Deolall off the bowling of Lloydel Lewis (2-23).
Karim (27) joined Surujpaul and they added 44 for the second wicket from 9.5 overs, with Surujpaul hitting Lewis over midwicket for six, whilst Karim took the fight to Pereira, when he struck him through extra cover and twice back over his head for boundaries.
Surujpaul and Karim were dismissed within two runs of each other with Lewis knocking back Karim’s off stump whilst Pereira had Surujpaul caught by Austin at extra cover in his next over.
Skipper Ricardo Adams (33) and Adams saw the 100 up in the 33rd over.
Shameer was introduced into the attack and Adams greeted him with a maximum over midwicket, but in his haste to up the scoring for his team, he attempted to hit the next delivery over long off and was caught by Deolall.
From 112-4 in the 34th over Essequibo’s batting fell away and none of the remaining batsmen reached double figures.
The two teams will face each other today at the same venue, weather permitting.