By Delvon Mc Ewan
Ronaldo Renee and Raymond Perez combined for an unbroken century partnership as Demerara completed a comprehensive 10-wicket victory over defending champions Essequibo, in the first round of the Guyana Cricket Board Under-17 limited overs competition yesterday at the Enmore Community Development Centre Ground.
Demerara reached its target of 107 in 19 overs as a savage Renee’s innings of 65 was complemented by Perez who made 19.
After Demerara won the toss, sent in Essequibo and routed them early, they had to bat 10 overs before the lunch interval. In those 10 overs Demerara reached 68 without loss with Renee and Perez unbeaten on 35 and 11 respectively.
After the interval, the pair batted more carefully as they took nine overs to score the remaining 39 runs. During that period Renee brought up his half century with a vicious pull off Kevin Martinborough that rocketed to the square leg boundary for four. Essequibo missed their only opportunity to claim a wicket when Perez was dropped at first slip while on 13. Renee faced 75 balls and struck seven fours while Perez stroked a solitary boundary from his 39 deliveries.
Earlier when Essequibo batted, young talented prospect Kemo Paul continued his dominance at the junior level with an accomplished even fifty. However, Paul’s innings which ended after he faced 73 balls and struck two fours and a six was the only significant effort from the Essequibo players as the other 10 batsmen failed to reach double figures.
Paul showed excellent batting skills by hitting the ball along the ground and into the gaps to pick up the ones and twos. He added the highest partnership of the innings, 46 runs for the second wicket with Mark Williams who made six. Bowling for Demerara, skipper Travis Persaud and medium pacer Sherfane Rutherford claimed three wickets each while Malcolm Hubbard, Samuel Mckenzie and impressive leg spinner Ershad Alli claimed a wicket each.
Before the commencement of the match both teams, along with their managers and match officials stood on the field for a minute of silence to commemorate the life of former British Guiana and West Indies player Ivor Mendonca. The players also entered the field with a piece of black ribbon attached to their uniform to further pay respect to the late Mendonca who died on Saturday after he suffered cancer of the larynx and prostate.
The tournament continue tomorrow at the Wale Community Development Centre Ground with Essequibo taking on Berbice.
Travis Persaud and Sherfane Rutherford claimed six wickets between them as Demerara dismissed Essequibo cheaply.