By Royston Alkins
Demerara Cricket Club’s Sherfane Rutherford smoked a majestic 91 not out from 46 deliveries and, coupled with last over heroics from Christopher Barnwell, saw Demerara Cricket Club eke out a narrow three-run win over
Police Sports Club at the Eve Leary Ground yesterday in the Georgetown Cricket Association’s T20 first division competition.
The nail-biting encounter began with DCC winning the toss and electing to bat first on the dry looking pitch.
They, however, found themselves in early trouble when off-spinner Jason Heyliger, who bowled with good control from the bottom end, got rid of both openers and the hard-hitting Barnwell for eight to leave DCC in some trouble at 36 for three in the seventh over.
Those wickets brought Jonathan Foo and the highly regarded Rutherford to the crease. The 18-year-old Rutherford was his usual belligerent self and signalled his intention early on in his innings by lifting left-arm orthodox spinner Ricardo Adams for consecutive sixes in the ninth over to push DCC to 60 for 3.
Foo, however, departed in the 10 over for (12) after top-edging a flick of the bowling of medium pacer Stephen Harris to leave DCC in a spot of bother at 62 for 4.
Police seemed to be in with a chance of containing the powerful DCC batting line up, but Rutherford had other ideas and he took the game to the lawmen by playing a number for savage shots to keep Police at bay.
Rutherford and Jahron Byron, who batted at number six, took the score to 94 after Rutherford took a liking to Harris’s bowling and smacked him for 16 runs in the 13th over.
The two pushed the score to 123 for 4 in the 17th over, during which Rutherford brought up his 50 with a dab into the offside.
Rutherford continued on his merry ways, cracking off-spinner Kelvin Leitch over his head for six off Leitch’s first ball to push his individual score to 69 and DCC’S total to 129 for 4.
Leitch, however, got some consolation by removing Byron for 14 in the same over which ended a 68 six-wicket partnership he shared with Rutherford.
Rutherford was severe on Raun Johnson who bowled the 19th over by smashing him back over his head for six and then creaming him through the covers for four. He was right on the hunt for a maiden T20 ton when he started the 20th over on 83 and DCC 143 for 5.
He, however, disappointingly only managed eight more runs to remain unbeaten on 91 from 46 deliveries. His innings included four fours and eight towering sixes as DCC finished on 154 for 6.
Byron (14), Foo (12) and Tevin Imlach (11) were the only other batsmen to reach double figures. Off-spinner Heyliger ended with impressive figures of 3 for 22 for the lawmen.
Police, started positively when opener Alex Algoo drove pacer Trevon Garraway through the covers for four then cracked him backward of point for another boundary in the first over of the run chase.
Algoo’s innings, however, ended when he tried to hook a delivery from Paul Wintz and was caught on the mid-wicket boundary for eight. Police lost their second wicket when Ashmead Nedd trapped Mark Robe LBW for one to leave the lawmen in early trouble at 11 for 2 in the fourth over.
Police struggled to keep up with the run-rate and brought up their 50 in the 13th over when Lennox Andrews nonchalantly pushed Garraway back over his head for six. Andrews, who took his time at the beginning of his innings, then latched onto leg-spinner Steven Sankar and smoked him for another six and a four in the 14th over to carry Police to 73 for 3 after 15 runs came off the over.
Heyliger and Andrews, who came together with the score on 21 for 3 kept Police in the hunt and took the score to 123 for 3 in the 17th over with Police needing 32 more runs from three overs.
Andrews smashed Barnwell for six off the first ball in the 18th over to reduce the equation while sending his team’s supporters into a frenzy.
Needing 22 runs from 12 balls and Andrews hit Rutherford for a six to carry Police to 149 for 3 at the end of the 19th over with six runs for the win.
Skipper Barnwell took the ball in the final over and used his experience to bowl his side to an emotional victory after Police squandered a good opportunity to register a win. They managed just three runs as Barnwell got rid of Andrews and Leitch to leave the lawmen 151 for 5 from their 20 overs.
Andrews played well for 75 from 66 balls. His innings included five fours and the same amount of sixes and he was supported by Heyliger who ended on 27 not out. Barnwell took 2 for 37, Wintz, 1 for 15 and Nedd 1 for nine.