A well-crafted century from veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul followed by a meticulous bowling effort from the Essequibo’s spinners, carried the Cinderella County side within reach of their first major title when stumps was called on day two of their final round clash against West Demerara at Tuschen, yesterday.
West Demerara, replying to Essequibo’s first innings total, left themselves plenty to do on the final day, ending day five down with the score on 85.
The day began with Essequibo resuming on 127 for four with Shivnarine Chanderpaul on 53 and Chetram Persaud on 24.
The two then carried the score to 158 before the latter fell LBW to off-spinner Richie Looknaught for 40.
Nine runs later, the sixth wicket fell when left-hander Mark Williams (2) was removed by off-spinner Malcolm Hubbard.
Skipper Anthony Adams and Chanderpaul then joined forces and advanced the score to 235 – 7 before the partnership ended.
Adams unleashed a number of crafty shots while Chanderpaul crunched a few effortless ones of his own to cruise to his century, reaching it with a dab into the off side.
His century came off 236 balls and at that time, he carving out eight fours and three sixes.
Chanderpaul, after reaching his century, eased a delivery from seamer Jamal Gomes for a six after which the seamer found the outside edge of Adams’ bat, a few deliveries later, which was well taken by wicketkeeper Tevin Imlach, diving low to his right. His innings of 35 lasted 57 balls and included four fours and a maximum.
Chanderpaul went the luncheon interval unbeaten on 116 as Essequibo, moved to 248 – 7.
They were eventually dismissed for 260 5.2 overs after the break during which time Chanderpaul (119) was dismissed after more than seven hours at the crease.
Off-spinner Looknaught was the most successful bowler, grabbing 4 -49 while Gomes supported with 3 – 37.
Hubbard who had the prize wicket of Chanderpaul ended with 2 – 47.
West Demerara began their reply cautiously much to the credit of Essequibo’s new-ball pair Nealand Cadogan who bowled with aggression, even banging Deoram Chanderbir on the helmet while his partner Kevin Gordon found a steady line to keep openers honest.
Chanderbir and Tagenarine Chanderpaul thought weathered the storm and carried the score to 34 – 1 before Chanderbir was adjudged LBW to Anthony Adams.
Tagenarine Chanderpaul and skipper Akshaya Persaud then carried their side to 42 – 1 at tea with Chanderpaul on 17 and Akshaya Persaud on six.
Essequibo, after the interval, served up a barrage of spin which was met with little measure to score by the West Demerians.
Akshaya Persaud especially, found it difficult and was given a reprieve when Kevin Boodie grassed an opportunity in the cover region off the bowing of Chetram Persaud.
Chetram Persaud, nevertheless, persisted and had Akshaya Persaud caught in the slip region for a 36-ball 12 to leave the score on 52 – 2.
West Demerara slipped into further trouble at 53 -3 in the following over when the inform Tevin Imlach (1) was removed by Adams, caught in the midwicket region.
The spinners continued to cause plenty of worries chiefly Chetram Persaud who bowled with guile and maintained a nagging line.
He accounted for Travis Persaud (9) and Hubbert (00) in one over as things got worse for West Demerara. All the while, Chanderpaul watched from the other end and blocked his way to the close, unbeaten on 36 from 158 deliveries as his side ended the day, tottering on 85 – 5 and plenty of work to do today. Chetram Persaud, for his consistency, ended with 3 – 17 at the close while Anthony Adams collected 2 – 27.