By Royston Alkins
Berbice Skipper Mavran Prashad produced a fine all-round performance to lead his side to a five-wicket victory over Demerara in the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Dave West Indian Imports Inter-County Under 15 competition at the Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) Ground, yesterday.
Demerara, who won the toss and elected to bat, crawled to a painstaking total of 90 all out in 44.5 overs after their last five wickets produced just 24 runs.
Demerara, who came into yesterday’s final unbeaten, lost their first wicket in the 11th over when left-arm orthodox spinner Hemraj Harrilall bowled the inform Shoaib Shaw for nine to leave the score on 16 for 1.
Chad Shivrattan then joined Movindra Dindyal to face the spin tandem of Harrilall and Abdul Ramsammy who was probably the best off spinner in the competition.
Pressure continued to build and it was not long before Shivrattan was run-out in the 19th over for four when Dindyal played a ball to point and called him for a suicidal single to leave the score on 32 for 2.
At that point, only one boundary was hit which came off the bat of Shaw.
Shivrattan’s dismissal brought Andre Seepersaud to the wicket and together with Dindyal they batted to the first water break as the Berbice spinners continued to pile on the pressure.
It was slow going for the defending champions who were 38 for 2 at the halfway mark. Their 50, however, came up in the 28th over with Dindyal on 24 and Seepersaud on four.
Looking to up the scoring, however, Seepersaud was dismissed by Prashad lbw for 10 and Dindyal soon followed him back to the pavilion when he too was LBW this time to Harrilall for a meticulous 24 in the 34th over leaving Demerara tottering at 62 for 4.
Those two wickets brought Brandon Jaikarran and Ushardeva Balgobin together. Balgobin, in particular, looked like the only batsman who was prepared to go on the attack. He made his intentions known by playing several powerful shots to fielders. His innings though, ended when he tried to pull a delivery from Daniel Dharamdat and was caught a mid-wicket for two. There wasn’t much to smile about after Balgobin departed as Demerara’s last five wickets fell for 24 runs. Dindyal, 24, Seepersaud, 10 and Jaikarran, 12 were the only batsmen to reach double figures as Prashad, 3 for 14, Harrilall 2 for 17, Dharamdat 2 for 13, Garav Ramesh 2 for 24 and Ramsammy 0-13 from 10 overs, spun webs around the Demerara batsmen.
Berbice, in reply were 15 for 2 in the ninth over after they lost opener Anthony Williams caught at mid-off for no score off the bowling of medium pacer Daveanand Khemraj while number three Dharamdat was bowled by Seepersaud for a duck as well.
Skipper Prashad then joined forces with opener Ricardo Ramdehol and the two batted a number of overs before Ramdehol was run-out in the 13th over to leave Berbice in some trouble at 19 for three. Two other quick wickets fell as Demerara at that point looked set to retain their title.
However, Prashad and Asif Amoi, who came together with the score on 40 for 5, had other ideas and eventually took their side to victory and the championship. Prashad grew in confidence and Amoi was the perfect foil for him. The two ran well between the wickets which caused the Demerara players to make several errors in the field. Prashad ended on 38 from 97 balls. His innings included 16 singles, five twos, and a single boundary. Amoi, on the other hand, ended on 24 from 33 balls in an unbeaten 51-run partnership with his skipper.
Seepersaud 2 for nine from his 10 overs Daniel Mootoo one for 16 from eight overs and Khemraj one for four were the wicket takers for Demerara.
Prashad was adjudged player of the match and the most valuable player of the tournament for his exploits. The Guyana under-15 team which will be named shortly, will play in the U17 Inter County competition before they journey to Barbados for 2017 Regional U15 tournament.