By Colin Benjamin
Led by a mesmeric spell of leg-spin bowling by national and West Indies Under 19 spinner Amir Khan, Demerara closed yesterday’s opening day at 58 for 3, after bowling Cellink Berbice out for a paltry 141 in the final round of the 2011 Guyana and Trinidad Mutual (GTM) Under 19 Inter County three-day competition at Police Sports Club Ground, Eve Leary, yesterday.
Play on the first session was delayed by one hour from its original 10:00 am start due to overnight rainy conditions leaving the outfield and playing surface damp.
When play eventually commenced at 11:00 am, Cellink Berbice skipper Shawn Perreira won the toss and elected to bat.
By lunch in the shortened first session his side had progressed to 29 for 1, losing opener Jamally Odle caught behind for 16 off medium pacer Kevin Ogle.
In the afternoon session Demerara seized the initiative quite forcefully as Cellink Berbice lost wickets at regular intervals to the Demerara spin duo of Khan and Raj Nannan, as they collapsed to 136 for 8 at the tea interval.
Earlier, it was new-ball bowler Neil Barry Jr, who struck the initial blow when he comprehensively bowled opener Kadasammy Surujnarine for 24 in the fifth over after the interval with the score 43 for 2.
From then on it was the Khan/Nanan show as the tore through Cellink Berbice’s middle order, in another example of youth batsmen in Guyana displaying faulty technique and temperament when facing spin bowling of varying qualities.
The spin duo complemented each other beautifully. Nannan with his metronomic left-arm spin, kept a stranglehold on the Cellink Berbice batsmen as they struggled to get him off the square (he had about 9 extremely close leg-before shouts turned down) while Khan fed of the pressure created by his team mate at the opposite end, as he took all the remaining five wickets to fall in the second session. The fifth wicket being Cellink Berbice skipper Perreira caught at first slip by Chanderpaul Hemraj for a painstakingly score of three.
Cellink Berbice only managed to add a further five runs at the start of final session before being bundled out for miserable 141 in 65.1 overs.
Linden Austin top scored with 25 while Khan ended with figures of 21.1-4-39-6 steadily backed up by Nannan whose miserly analysis read – 19-9-22-2.
Demerara by the close in reply had crawled to 58 for 3 in 43 overs, with opener Christopher Surat not out 24 and captain Kwame Crosse not out on seven.
Demerara could have been in a much worse position as Surat survived two regulation stumping chances and Crosse was dropped by Jamally Odle at short leg, all of the unlucky Gudakesh Motie-Kanhai.