Final preliminary rounds set to commece today

Noble House Seafoods Second Division competition…

By Neil Barry

Three First Division encounters in the Carib Beer and Friends of Cricket Heroes Cup two-day competition and the final round of preliminary matches in the Noble House Seafoods Second Division Competition are set to take place in the city from today.

Despite already being unable to qualify for the semi-finals of the Noble House Second Division competition, the Guyana Defence Force and Malteenoes Sports Club will face each other in their final round match at the Guyana National Industrial Corporation (GNIC) ground with umpires Shannon Crawford & Dawchan Nagasar set to officiate.

At the Thomas Lands YMCA ground, Ace Warriors will take on Police Sports Club in another game where both teams are unable to qualify for the semi-finals.

Umpires Joseph Jeffrey and Delvin Austin will oversee that match.

Those matches will, however, present an opportunity for the players to add to their performances thus far in the competition and for the teams to vacate the cellar positions of group B.

In the Heroes Cup competition,  teams will be looking to assert themselves in an effort to top their respective groups in order to qualify for the play-off round.

At Camp Ayanganna, the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) will host Transport Sports Club with umpires Montgomery Chester and Matthew Kissoon  officiating.

Transport will be looking to rebound from their innings and 169-run defeat to GCC in their last game.

Batting first GCC declared on 5 for 356 with half centuries from Nicholas DeGroot, Wasim Haslim and Robin Bacchus. Transport, in reply, could only score 81 and 106 respectively with Simeon Sam top scoring in the first innings with 38 and then 35 in the second innings. Seam bowler Joshua Wade grabbed a five-wicket haul in the first innings and picked up two more wickets in the second innings alongside two wicket contributions from Winston Forrester and Devon Lord. GDF will be without opener Shemroy Barrington who is with the national team and will depend on captain Paul Costello, their leading run scorer in the competition, as well as Guyana Under-19 opener Kevon Boodie.

At Eve Leary, the home side Police takes on Gandhi Youth Organisation, a team which has been boosted in recent times by Shaeed Mohamed, Leon Scott, and former Everest player Abilash Dookie. The umpires for that game will be Colin Alfred and Hortense Isaacs.

Police will be hoping opener Rawle Brown and  current leading run-scorer Troy Benn score heavily this weekend.

Police will also be looking to rebound from a defeat which they suffered to GNIC the previous weekend by a margin of an innings and 96 runs. Taking first strike Police were bowled out for 105 with Jermaine Reynolds scoring 33 as Orlando Fraser grabbed 5 for 44 from 14 overs. He was ably supported by Rawle Merrell (6-0-19-2). GNIC, in reply, scored 291 thanks to an opening stand of 120 between Quincy Ovid-Richardson (67) and Premchand Sookdeo (44).Ejaz Mohamed and Merrell contributed with 35 and 29 not out batting in the middle order.

Bowling for Police Rodwayne Warde had 3 for 50. Batting a second time Police were bundled out for 90 in just 22 overs. Merrell was again among the wickets, partnering with Orlando Fraser to take 5 wickets for 42 runs from nine overs and 31 runs from 11 overs respectively.

At Everest, Camp Road, the home team battles the in-form GNIC in what should be a competitive encounter. Umpires Patrick Garnath and Andrew Greaves will stand in the match which should feature one of the tournament’s leading spinners in Everest’s Javed Rasheed.

Heroes Cup games are scheduled to commence at 9:30 am both days, while 2nd Division games start at 11. This weekend’s round of matches are particularly crucial for junior players seeking to be a part of Georgetown Cricket Association representative teams as national youth U-15 an U-19 tournaments are on the horizon.