Demerara Under19 vice-captain Ronaldo Ali- Mohamed yesterday, produced a quality all-round performance to propel Demerara to a clinical six-wicket win over the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Select Under17 XI in the final of the Hand-in-Hand Inter-County one-day tournament at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.
The day started on a positive note for the defending champions after skipper Bhaskar Yadram won the toss and inserted their junior counterparts to take the first strike.
That decision saw the Under17 openers, Alex Algoo and Sachin Singh, strolling to the crease and the two carefully took the score to 20 when Algoo (14) was dismissed by Yadram.
They then slipped to 53 – 3 after off-spinner Riche Looknauth struck twice in quick succession to remove Junior Sinclair (8) and Singh (24).
The innings went downhill from there and the juniors were dismissed for 130 in the 49th over. Only Kevlon Anderson, who made 38 from 111 balls during which he struck three fours, showed any fight. Yadram ended with figures of 4 – 37 from 9 while Looknauth bagged 3 – 20 from his 10 overs. Ali – Mohamed, who dismissed Anderson, ended with 2 – 23.
Demerara, in reply recovered to reach 60 for 2 in the 16th after the early demise of skipper Yadram (19) and Raymond Perez (13). The two batsmen were dismissed by all-rounder Gevon Schultz in the 10th over from consecutive deliveries with the score 36 – 2.
The two had started positively with Perez, in the fourth over, easing his club mate Qumar Torington down the ground for four.
He then repeated the shot, only this time a bit squarer, clipping the same bowler two deliveries later to the midwicket for another boundary.
Yadram, on the other hand, got going by dispatching Schultz for consecutive boundaries through the off-side in the following over which led to Schultz being taken out of the attack. He then savagely sliced Junior Sinclair for two boundaries in the sixth over.
Schultz however, came back into the attack and removed both openers.
The defending champions slipped into further trouble when skipper Ashmead Nedd removed Gavin Boowah (18) caught behind off the first ball after the break to send the Under – 17 side into jubilation with the score on 62-3.
Ali-Mohamed then joined forces with Joshua Persaud in an attempt at rebuilding the innings but Nedd had other ideas and bowled Persaud (8) with the score on 77 – 4 and Demerara still needing 53 more runs for victory.
Ali – Mohamed and Ramnarine Chetura who made 16 not out them combined for an unbroken six-wicket partnership of 55 runs to see their side home.
Ali – Mohamed ended unbeaten on 53 from 55 balls. He struck seven fours and two sixes, one in the 30th over when he dumped off-spinner Pradesh Balkishun in the green stand while the other maximum came off Schultz when he smacked the medium pacer back over his head in the 32nd over.
His innings ensured that Demerara end on 132 – 4 in the 33rd over. Nedd and Schultz took 2 -20 from 10 overs and 2 -13 from six overs, respectively.
The three-day format of the tournament will commence tomorrow at the Police Sports Club ground, Eve Leary with Essequibo taking on Demerara while Berbice will battle the Under17s at Everest.