-Berbice dispatch GCB U15 Select XI by nine wickets
By Royston Alkins
Essequibo Under-17 defeated their counterparts from Demerara by three wickets yesterday, at the Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC), in the second round of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Igloo Ice Cream Inter-County Under-17 tournament. The fired up Essequibo side utilized four medium pacers in dislodging Demerara for 127 runs, after the middle order was wrecked by medium pacer Mark Rankin, who grabbed his maiden five-wicket haul, and Lance Roberts who did the bulk of the damage. Essequibo’s batsmen sealed a hard fought victory, as they reached their target for the loss of seven wickets.
The day started with Demerara, the defending champions, winning the toss and electing to bat first. They, however, found themselves in a slum early on, with the score on 57 for four, at the first water break. Danger man, Sachin Singh fell to the first ball of the match, edging Reyaz Khan to the wicket-keeper, and three other wickets quickly followed. National players, Alphius Bookie and Ashmede Nedd were tasked with rebuilding the innings.
Rankin, however, struck again to remove both Bookie (18,) and Nedd (04), to send Demerara into further disarray with the total on 69 for six, in the 18th over. Off-spinner Roberts then deceived Andrew Samaroo, who failed to score, reducing Demerara to 71 for 7 in the 21st over.
The defending champions who looked uninspired throughout the day, were eventually dismissed for 127 in 40.5 overs, with Rankin snaring five for 23 from 9.5 overs, while being backed up by off-spinner Roberts (2-18) and Leon Swamin (2-22), as Essequibo completed a clinical bowling effort. Demerara could have been in even deeper trouble, but Himnaught Dindyal (18) pushed the total pass the 100 run mark, whilst extras contributed a hefty 36, to supplement Demerara’s woeful batting display.
Essequibo, in their response, raced to 38 for one in the ninth over, before Orlando Jailall (23) was bowled by skipper Pradesh Balkissoon. Jailall’s innings gave Essequibo an ideal start, and included two fours, one of which was a scorching cover drive off of Qumar Torrington, and a single six, smashed straight back over Nedd’s head.
Essequibo continued to coast along on the back of the 42 run second wicket partnership, between Kevin Christian (24) and Azeem Mohamed (16) who ran well between the wickets, while frustrating Demerara’s spinners. With the score on 80 for one at the halfway point, Nedd struck and removed Christian. Another quick
wicket followed when Balkissoon removed Mohamed, leaving Essequibo on 81 for three and giving the defending champions a sniff.
Essequibo reached 100 for three, with just 28 needed for victory. They, however nearly made a meal of it when they lost four quick wickets, only to nervously stroll home at 131 for seven in the 39th over, as Roberts returned with the bat to score a level headed 29 not out, to see his side home. Nedd (2-18), and Balkissoon (3-26), from their full quota of overs, respectively, bowled well for Demerara in a losing cause.
Meanwhile, Berbice demolished the GCB Select U15 XI by nine wickets at the Everest Cricket Club ground, in the other match.
The Select XI won the toss and were blown away for 70 in 34.3 overs, as left-arm spinner Kelvin Omroa (3-16), Mahendra Dorasami (3-13) and skipper Kevlon Anderson (3-2) accounted for the Under-15’s dismal batting display.
Berbice in their turn at the crease romped to 71 for one in 11.4 overs, to underline their dominance in this year’s tournament. Opener Alex Algu, whose batting prowess is above and beyond that of the other batsmen in the competition, once again caught the eyes, with an aggressive 43 off 48 deliveries, which included three fours and matching sixes. Brandon Mangal (14) and Junior Sinclair (03) saw Berbice safely to their target without further loss.