All-rounders Ryan Shun and Ronaldo Mohammed scored pugnacious half-centuries to power the President’s XI to a 50-run win over Essequibo yesterday at Everest Cricket Ground in the first round of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Under-19 50-over tournament.
Shun led the way with his stylish 83-ball 54, with four fours and one six and returned with the ball to bag 3 for 33 while the more aggressive of the two, Mohammed, clobbered the opposing bowlers for five fours and three sixes in his 45-ball knock as the President’s XI scored 214 for 7 in their 38 overs. All-rounder Kemo Paul was the pick of the bowlers finishing with 2 for 18 from three overs while spinners Akil Wallace (2-55) and Parmesh Parsotam (2-56) came in for some ill treatment despite grabbing two wickets each.
Essequibo required 224 runs to win after an early interruption from the rain which shaved 12 overs off the match, forced the officials to use the Duckworth/Lewis method which resulted in Essequibo being forced to chase 10 runs more than the original target.
This proved too much for the Cinderella County team who succumbed to 173 all out in 35.4 overs. Angular right-arm spinner Ershad Ali grabbed 3 for 38 while Damien Waldron grabbed his only wicket and the last wicket for Essequibo for 24 runs.
Essequibo opener Avinash Persaud set the tone for what looked like a successful chase with a composed 60 from 66 deliveries decorated with nine fours and one six. He shared a 64-run partnership with Paul who chipped in with 23 off 38.
Earlier, the President’s XI openers managed to face eight overs before rain stopped play for approximately 150 minutes. Upon resumption of play Sunil Singh fell for 18 after he was trapped LBW by Akil Adams in the 10th over of the match which also yielded the team’s 50.
The President’s XI 100 came in the 23 over with the pair of Shun and Avishkar Sewkarran (31) sensibly adding 53 for the second wicket. Two overs later Sewkarran, who was looking well set in his innings was caught by Travis Drakes off the bowling of Wallace leaving the score at 104 for 2.
Nick Ramsaroop (4) fell a few balls later, comfortably caught by Paul as the Essequibians looked to seize the advantage. Shun soon brought up his 50 from 70 odd deliveries with three fours and a six but after adding just one more boundary to his lot he was caught and bowled by Parsotam.
The 150 came up in 31.2 overs when Mohammed was put down in the deep. Waldron (6) was pinned LBW by Wallace but Mohammed continued hitting sixes and fours without any pressure, soon bringing up a quick-fire 42-ball 50. He managed to add nine runs extra to his score before he was dismissed by Paul.
Gavin Morian (1) attempted a pull but got it high on the bat and found Drakes in covers who completed a catch of Paul’s bowling. Yekini Favorite (9) and Renison Mitcheal (6) were the two unbeaten batsmen at the expiration of the overs.
During the Essequibo chase, Shailendra Hemraj (2) was the first to go caught by Kareem Mentore off Morian. The big-hitting Paul came to the middle and immediately opened his account with a vicious cut shot for four.
A swivel pull for six off the bowling of Favorite saw Paul stamping his authority and a wide the very next delivery raised Essequibo’s 50-run mark in the seventh over. After a recovery partnership of 64 runs between the two batsmen, Paul was softly caught and bowled by Shun in the 15th over.
Mahendra Balbadar was bowled for a 14-ball duck by Ershad Ali who also bowled Parsotam for 16 soon after. Ali was then involved in another dismissal when he completed a catch off the bowling of Shun to remove Drakes for one leaving Essequibo teetering at 133 for 6.
Next to go was Ryan Adams (3) who hit Ali straight down the throat of long-on boundary fielder Ramsaroop who didn’t have to move a muscle to complete the catch. Keanu Harry (5) was ran out by Singh. Wallace (17) and Adams gave their team a glimmer of hope after scoring a flurry of boundaries and managed quick singles at the back end of the innings, putting a partnership of 36 for the 9th wicket.
Wallace, who had already struck three boundaries attempting another lusty blow, was bowled by Morian, while Waldron dislodged Jamal Hartman’s stumps for a duck, bringing the innings to an inevitable end.