By Royston Alkins
Defending champions, Demerara scampered to 10-run victory over Berbice at the Enmore Community Development Centre ground in an exciting, low-scoring affair to hand the title holders their second win on consecutive days.
Demerara won the toss and opted to bat first on a slow outfield and labored to 109 for 9 from their allotted 50 overs.
Skipper Shoaib Shaw was once again the team’s main contributor, scoring a patient 36. He added 37 for the first wicket with Movindra Dindyal before Dindyal was caught at cover for (10) trying to force off-spinner Abdul Ramsammy off the back foot.
The batsmen found it difficult to score as Ramsammy and fellow spinners Daniel Dharamdat and Gourav Ramesh kept the Demerara batsmen quiet.
The score crept to 40 for 1 after 21 overs at the first water break. The struggle continued after the break as Shaw and Chad Shivrattan took the score to 59 for 1 after 30 overs, failing to rotate the strike or find regular boundaries.
Shaw was bowled by Ramesh, the first of three wickets for the spinner with the score on 78 in the 36th over. Berbice continued to bowl well as Shivrattan soon followed Shaw back to the pavilion when he was caught and bowled by Ramesh in the 37th over. Wickets fell in regularly thereafter and only wicketkeeper Mark Ramanan, who finished on 12 not out, showed any application to see the defending champions to a less than par score.
Left arm orthodox spinner Ramesh finished with 3 for 18 from his 10 overs while off-spinner, Ramsammy took 1 for 8 from his 10 overs and Dharamdat 1 for 21 from his 10.
Akash Heralall who finished without a wicket displayed excellent control as his 10 overs cost just 22 runs. Extras also contributed 22 runs.
Berbice, in reply, put up a fight but they fell 10 runs short of their intended total after being dismissed for 99 in the 50th over.
The score was on 14 when medium pacer and livewire in the field Negus Walters got rid of Sharwan Chaitnarine for two. Only Ricardo Ramdial (15), who opened the batting with Chaitnarine, reached double figures for Berbice who lost their way when Skipper Marvin Prashad, who made 67 against the GCB/Precedent’s XI, was brilliantly stumped off the bowling of Chanderpaul Ramraj for no score.
Berbice players produced pockets of resistance but Demerara held their nerve and came out as eventual winners.
Thirteen-year-old Ramraj, who bowls left arm ‘chinaman’ was the chief destroyer taking 4 for 21 from 9.3 overs which earned him the man of the match prize. Andre Seepersaud, whose bowling continues to outshine his batting, bowled economically, ending with 1 for 5 from 10 overs. Walters, who got the initial breakthrough, took 1 for 10 while Daniel Mootoo contained an end while bowling during the tense moments of the game to finish with none for 16 from his 10 overs.