Demerara ended day two of Guyana Cricket Board (GCB)/Hand in Hand under – 19 inter-county three-day tournament in a daunting position on 95 – 9, 119 runs ahead of Berbice after securing a 24 run first innings lead at the Everest Cricket Club ground, Yesterday.
Eighteen wickets fell on the second day as spectators and coaches alike endured a gripping see-saw battle as Berbice fought their way back into the title hunt after off- spinner Karan Arjpaul spun webs around the defending champions to bag 9 – 22 and tilt the balance of the game.
Berbice resuming on 19 for 1 with skipper Kevin Sinclair on 12 and Adrian Sukwah on one, reached 93 – 5 at the end of the first session.
They lost Sukwah (02) and Javid Karim (03) in quick succession after they were both removed by left – arm spinner Kheshram Seyhodan to leave the score on 41 – 3.
Sinclair, however, found an ally in Daniel Samaroo (17) and the two took the score to 82 before the latter went lbw to off – spinner Richie Looknaught.
Sinclair, however, seemed unphased and looked quite competent both on the front and back foot while pouncing on anything short and driving with elegance to reach his 50 from 116 balls.
Berbice, however, slipped into further trouble before the break when Seyhodan had Steve Deonarine (00) caught at bat/pad. Sinclair, though, went to the break on 53 with Berbice still needing 97 more runs to surpass Demerara’s first innings score.
Berbice after the lunch interval lost Matthew Hardyal (03) and Ezekiel Kempadoo (00) in the space of two balls to slump to 97 – 7, both falling to Seyhodan, handing the bowler his five-wicket haul.
Sylus Tyndall (27), however, strolled to the crease in a confident manner and negated the hat-trick delivery after which he dumped Seyhodan for three sixes, two of which landed on Carifesta Avenue. Skipper, Yadram, however, took the ball and bowled him stem the flow of runs.
Sinclair, who was running out of partners as he neared his century, also took a liking to Seyhodan and nonchalantly stroked him for two sixes.
He seemed set to stroll to three figures after adding 22 runs with the number 10 batter Karan Arjpual before skiing a catch to long-off to disappointingly end his innings on 97 while also surrendering first innings honors to Demerara.
His knock lasted 195 deliveries in a nearly four-hour stay at the crease as Berbice fell for 166 in 63.2 overs. Seyhodan ended with 6 – 67 from 21 overs while Yadram grabbed 3 – 16.
Demerara with a lead of 24 runs, ended the second session on 34 – 1 after extending their lead to 58 runs with opener Raymond Perez (12) being the man dismissed.
The defending champions, after the break after, plunged to 74 – 5 after off – spinner Arjpaul produced a mesmerizing afternoon spell to grab all five wickets to fall.
The little off-spinner spun the ball and bowled with guile to ‘turn’ the game on its head.
Demerara was in danger of being dismissed on the second afternoon, giving Berbice an entire day to chase a small last innings total.
It was the Arjpaul show again when the little man who switched ends, took a brilliant return catch to dismiss the dangerous Ronaldo Ali – Mohamed (16) while mesmerizing Demerara’s lower order, to snare three additional wickets late in the afternoon to send his side into jubilation.
He ended the day with 9 – 22 from 21 measly overs leaving Berbice well positioned to dethrone the defending champions who ended the day on 95 – 9 with a second innings lead of 119, heading into the final day.