Half-centuries from skipper Christopher Barnwell and Rajendra Chandrika, reinforced by the former’s four-wicket haul, steered Demerara to a two-wicket win over Berbice their second victory in as many matches, in this year’s Pepsi Senior inter-county 50 overs-a-side tournament.
Playing the second round match at the prestigious Georgetown Cricket Club’s Bourda ground, Demerara
won the toss and elected to field, giving Berbice the luxury of posting a decent target. They did, registering a solid 250 for 8 thanks to some late hitting down the order by leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo who slammed a pugnacious 72 not out.
Berbice openers, Captain Sewnarine Chattergoon (18) and West Indies U19 selectee, Shimron Hetemyer (12), were sent back early, removed by Barnwell and Kellon Carmichael respectively.
The dangerous Jonathan Foo (1), was unable to produce any fireworks, being trapped LBW by Barnwell, leaving the score at 56 for 3 and Berbice in a bit of trouble. All-rounder Rajiv Ivan (3) then attempted to slash fast bowler Paul Wintz through the square cover area but the catch was sharply held onto by Robin Bacchus who was patrolling the cover region.
The Demerara spinners kept things quiet during the middle passage as national wicket-keeper Anthony Bramble and Devon Clements steadied the innings for a few overs and brought up the team’s century mark in 23.3 overs.
However, Trevon Griffith’s knack of breaking partnerships by picking up wickets came in the 30th over, when he had Clements (30) caught by Andrew Lyght Jr., in the deep off the third ball. After striking a couple of boundaries and a maximum, Bramble (26) then smashed one to Carmichael in the covers as the skipper picked up his third and Berbice were reeling at 137 for 6.
Eon Hooper (1) skied one to Rajendra Chandrika at long-off giving Barnwell his fourth scalp but Bishoo and all-rounder Romario Shepherd-DeJonge’s partnership of 63, gave the innings some momentum.
Shepherd-DeJonge (38) was then caught by Lyght Jr., off the bowling of Steven Jacobs while Bishoo soon brought up his half-century with a boundary off Barnwell; followed up by a scoop shot for six, as the Demerara skipper went for 15.
The last five overs yielded 64 as Gudakesh Moti-Kanhai (5) not out and Bishoo 72 from 63 inclusive of four boundaries and two huge sixes saw the team to a respectable total.
Barnwell was the pick of the bowlers snapping up 4 for 59 off his 10, while Wintz, Carmichael, Jacobs, and Griffith, picked up one wicket each, for 36, 62, 46 and 10 respectively.
Chasing a modest total for their second straight win, Demerara partially cruised to 252 for 8 thanks to Barnwell’s aggressive 72 and Chandrika’s patient 62.
The champs lost their first wicket at 6 for 1, when opener Trevon Griffith (5), was caught by Hetemyer off the bowling of Keon Joseph, shortly after he punched the fast bowler through backward square for a boundary off the first ball of the over.
The pugnacious Lyght Jr., (13) was comprehensively bowled by Joseph in the third over. After adding 39 for the third wicket with Chandrika and bringing up the team’s 50 in the 13th over, Bacchus (16) was caught by Ivan off the bowling of Bishoo.
Fresh off his century in the first game, the skipper came to the crease to steer his team to safety along with Chandrika. He greeted Ivan with a typical straight shot for six which sailed over the Rohan Kanhai stands.
The pair continued milking the likes of spinners, Moti-Kanhai, Hooper and Bishoo and snuck in a few boundaries, eventually raising the team’s hundred in the 23rd over. Continuing from where he last left off, the all-rounder brought up his 50 in the 29th over with a six off Hooper, followed by another which travelled over the mid-wicket area.
Barnwell continued his remorseless batting by greeting Bishoo’s return with a six over the long-on area. Chandrika who played second fiddle to his aggressive captain, then raised his bat to signal a classy half-century scored off 91 balls with two boundaries.
After another consecutive display of patience and power-hitting, Barnwell was then caught by Foo off the bowling of Hooper, ending with six fours and five sixes.
At 166 for 4, the vice-captain Jacobs walked out to the crease with his team requiring 82 more to win. Chandrika soon after met his demise when he danced down the track and was stumped by Bramble off Bishoo, who picked up his second.
Motie-Kanhai then struck in his 9th over, removing Jacobs for 16. But Shaquille Williams 14 runs from eight balls and Derwin Christian (36) saw the champs home with an over to spare.
Bishoo was the best bowler grabbing 2 for 43 from his 10. Joseph snared 2 for 45 while Motie-Kanhai, Hooper and Clements claimed one each. Demerara are now ahead on the points table with eight points.