Garfield Benjamin’s half-century reinforced by Captain Kevlon Anderson’s four-wicket haul steered Berbice to the 2015 Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Inter-county U15 50 over title yesterday after they defeated Demerara by 31-runs at the Wales Community ground.
In the final match of the tournament, watched by vocal spectators, Berbice’s total of 160 for 6 was mainly
attributed to Man-of-the-Match Benjamin’s resolute 127-ball 59 which featured six fours and Anderson’s majestic bowling spell of 4-15 from 10 overs which helped to restrict Demerara to 139 all out in 44 overs in their chase.
Demerara, who entered the final after playing unbeaten in the preliminary rounds, were partially in the game after knocks from Adrian Hinds (24), Pradesh Balkisson (17) and Alphius Bookie (16).
Berbice though had vital spells from Kelvin Omroa (2-28), who continues to impress with his left-arm spin while strikes from Navendra Persaud (2-10) and Nigel Deodat (1-34) completed a match-winning bowling performance.
The losers, who had beaten Berbice in the second round, were again on top with their bowling compliments of Balkisson (2-20), Bookie (2-31) and Qumar Torrington (1-32). Skipper Ashmead Nedd went wicket-less but bowled beautifully in his 10 overs which went for just 23 runs.
Demerara first lost opener Robin Williams for nine during the chase but were consolidated by knocks from Hinds, Balkisson and Bookie which took them out of their hole. The three batsmen were busy, aggressive and aware during their respective knocks but some team work from Omroa and skipper Anderson ensured that they were in back in the pavilion before any serious damage could be done.
The two spinners, who bowled 20 overs for 42 runs and claimed six wickets in total, would feast on the likes of Nedd (02) who was stumped by Sinclair and Jamal Michaels (00) who was caught by Omroa in the covers. Jeremiah Scott and Chandra Mohan were the two batters at the crease when rain came at 15:57hrs, in 31.2 overs.
With the showers lasting for a few minutes, play resumed with Demerara needing roughly 60 runs to win with three wickets in hand.
They were however facing the Berbice bowlers who had their tails up. Eventually both Mohan and Jospice Jones were sent packing for four runs each.
Scott and Torrington joined forces to rescue their team from the jaws of defeat but things went sour when Scott was expertly run out by Deodat. Tail-enders Torrington and Dequan Bamfield were not bothered by the uphill task and continued to play their shots with the former being the more aggressive of the two.
But it was not to be for Demerara who had their hopes crushed when Bamfield was caught by the skipper off the bowling of Persaud.
Earlier, Benjamin operated as the heart of his team and the main reason they were able to post their match-winning total as he batted around most of his teammates who fell cheaply after playing irresponsible shots.
The in-form opening pair of Junior Sinclair (19) and Brandon Mangal (17) looked ominous before they were removed by Bookie and Balkisson respectively.
Anderson (07), Alex Agloo (12) and Andre Bissoondial (00) fell cheaply as the Demerara bowlers placed the Berbician middle-order under immense pressure. Meanwhile, Benjamin progressed and duly brought up his 50 and looked well set for a bigger total prior to a mix up with Seon Glasgow (16*) which resulted in his run out.
Glasgow was not fazed by the run out and managed to pick up a lot of singles and two during his unbeaten knock as the overs expired leaving himself and Omroa (02*) stranded.
At the GCB post match presentation which was conducted by Territorial Development Officer (TDO) Colin Stuart, Junior chairman of selectors Nazimul Drepaul and Competitions Chairman Colin Europe, lauded the two sides for the level of cricket played and encouraged all the teams involved in the tournament, with the other two being Essequibo and President’s XI, to continue playing.
The selectors will now chose 20 players form the tournament who will be encamped ahead of the upcoming U17 inter-county competitions which begins next month, where they will narrow the squad down to 14 players who will form the national Guyana team which will also take part in the U17 fixtures.