By Neil Barry
The Guyana National Industrial Corporation (GNIC) defeated the University of Guyana on first innings on Sunday to win the Georgetown Cricket Association Noble House Seafoods two day competition.
They were forced to bat 23 overs on Sunday afternoon against a spirited University of Guyana side to stave off a rampant UG side and secure the championship title in the second division competition for the second year running.
Set a target of 124 to win outright in at least an hour and a half, GNIC’s pair of Man of the Match Collis Butts and skipper Elton Baker batted carefully until close of play after being reduced to 4 for 45 after 12 overs.
The UG side will regret a first innings collapse after they were well placed on 70 without loss.
Openers Kumar Bridgelall (78) and Dwayne Dodson (30) had delivered another good start before a dramatic collapse saw them scrape to 162 all out. Son of former West Indies player and current Chairman of Selector, Clyde Butts, Collis Butts collected impressive figures of 5 for 20 from 20.1 overs of classical off spin. GNIC got off to a good start as Premchand Sookdeo (17) and Quincy Ovid Richardson put on 47 for the first wicket until off spinner Dennis Heywood got rid of both of them in his first over. When Stephon Josiah removed Baker for 33 to leave GNIC on 4 for 91, first innings points were still in the balance. Matthew Marques and Ejaz Mohamed put together another good partnership, before a straight drive from Marques ricochet off the bowlers’ hand to see Mohamed unfortunately run out with the score on 144 for 5. A late rally from Marques (64) and Rawle Merell (28) took GNIC to 234. Damian Vantull bowled 25.4 overs to pick up 4 for 75.
Behind by 71, the UG side played aggressively in their second innings to reach 9 for 195 in just 32 overs. Damian Vantull (50), Kenroy Joseph (37) and Melroy Stevenson (25) all scored quickly while some aggressive running from UG’s lower order helped push the score close to 200.
With the momentum on their side UG fielded energetically in an attempt to gain an outright win. An impressive stumping from Clevon Hyman off the bowling of Kenroy Joseph to remove Ovid-Richardson triggered a collapse as GNIC were put under pressure to save the game. But Baker and Butts played cautiously to the close to ensure no further hiccups as GNIC regained the title.
After a long and eventful journey which lasted for about six months the tournament came to a fitting end in fading light at Bourda. Dennis Squires was named the best bowler and MVP of the tournament with 53 wickets and 125 runs, while Vantull finished as the tournament’s leading run scorer.