By Romario Samaroo
For the second time in as many days Christopher Barnwell played a responsible innings to take Georgetown to victory in the Guyana Cricket Board/Jaguars 50-overs-a-side franchise league yesterday at the National Stadium, Providence.
Following his century the previous day that helped dispose of the defending champions, Lower Corentyne, Barnwell yesterday guided the Georgetown team to a nervy three-wicket win over three-day champions, Essequibo, who were looking to capture the double.
Georgetown skipper Leon Johnson won the toss and elected to chase and Barnwell struck seven fours and a maximum in his innings of 69.
He teamed up with Johnson to put up a 95-run partnership that saw Georgetown recover from 22-2 in the sixth over. Johnson was later bamboozled by Akine Adams who broke through his defence ending his stand of 47.
Barnwell, on 47 at the dismissal of Johnson, was joined by Shemroy Barrington who was there with Barnwell as he notched up his half century with a single through cover.
Essequibo had let Barnwell off the hook when the batsman was on 37. He was caught off Leoryan Ramlakhan with an extra man out the ring in the power play, resulting in a no ball.
The pair added 40 before Barrington was dismissed for 22 and in the end, it was left up to Paul Wintz and Steve Sankar to see Georgetown to victory in the 44th over.
Earlier, in the opening over of the Essequibo innings, pacer Wintz had Kevon Boodie back in the pavilion after he sliced a short ball down the throat of Sankar at third man.
Eknaut Persaud struggled against Barnwell who sent his off-stump cartwheeling in the final ball of his first over as Essequibo seemed in trouble with the score 9-2. Ricardo Adams joined Kellon Savory but only managed seven before Barnwell returned to hit the timber with Adams playing a loose drive and missing the ball completely.
However, with Adams’ dismissal, a crucial fourth-wicket stand between Keemo Paul and Savory managed to put up a fighting 63-run partnership. Paul unleashed his assault on Barnwell, striking him for a maximum and a boundary off of his first two deliveries.
The pair looked as if they were going to pull the Essequibo side out of the deep end, but Savory was bowled by Ramaal Lewis for 32 after a lapse of concentration. Paul soon followed as he tried to reverse sweep a Lewis delivery only to hold out to Robin Bacchus at backward point for a fighting 39 from just 29 deliveries.
With Essequibo staring down the barrel of a low total, cameos from skipper Anthony Adams (16) and number 11 batsman, Ramlakhan (21) helped the three-day champions limp to 192 all out. Johnson scampered two crafty wickets inside just four overs while Lewis bagged three and Barnwell, Devon Lord and Wintz two apiece.
During the presentation ceremony, Barnwell was adjudged the Most Valuable Player having amassed 247 runs and taking six wickets, edging Savory for the award. Savoury scored 245 runs and had 12 dismissals.
Marketing Manager of the Guyana Cricket Board, Raj Singh congratulated the teams for their fierce competition especially Essequibo who managed to finish on top of the table in the preliminary round of the competition.
Similarly, Johnson encouraged the team to take this experience as they return to the drawing board producing a splendid run in the tournament.