Alex Algoo rode his luck to close on an unbeaten 83 as Berbice led Essequibo by 69 runs at the end of day one of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB)/Hand-in-Hand Mutual, Fire and Life Insurance U19 three-day Inter-County tournament at the Lusignan Community Centre Ground, East Coast Demerara yesterday.
Essequibo won the toss and decided to bat with the sun in all its glory blistering the flat track and were bundled out for 80 in 37.5 overs while Berbice closed on 149-3 after facing 55 overs.
The fielding was particularly below par by the Essequibo side, and the several blunders throughout the day, effectively changed the course of the match.
Algoo, who opened the batting, was dropped at slip without a run on the board. He would go on to make Essequibo pay with dearly with a long innings. The former national player’s fortune did not stop there as he went on to take advantage of the poor catching, being put down three more times including a tough chance by the bowler when he was on 49.
He was also caught on the mid-on boundary off of a no-ball (height) when he was on 25.
In total, Essequibo dropped eight regulation catches.
Essequibo got limited success taking two wickets as Junior Sinclair and skipper, Kevin Sinclair, were bowled for 13 and two respectively but Algoo and Kevlon Anderson steadied the innings to see Berbice to Tea at 55-2, still 25 runs behind.
Upon resumption, Algoo and Anderson batted quickly to put on a 79-run stand and erase the deficit before Anderson was bowled for 36 by leg break bowler, Sherlan Anthony who had switched ends.
In the last over of play, Algoo tried to sneak a run that was never there as Essequibo again buckled with a wayward throw and too much work for the wicketkeeper to do, Algoo made his ground to close the day with his partner, Javed Karim not out on 10.
Earlier, with little to no two-day cricket in the Cinderella County, the effects were evident as the opening pair were the only two to show any intention of occupying the crease. Kevin Christian faced 43 balls in an hour before departing for 17 while Orlando Jailall (13) lasted only four minutes more.
Left arm orthodox, Keith Simpson bagged the two wickets quickly to leave Essequibo in disarray at 3-43.
Captain Sinclair then picked up back-to-back wickets to signal the collapse after Karran Arjpaul had Besham Moses’ stumps rocked back, sending Essequibo into lunch in a world of trouble at 64-6.
Essequibo lost their final four wickets in a mere 22 minutes.
Kelvin Umroa had Sampson caught at cover as he continued his aggressive batting for a top score of 18 while Joshua Jones struck Umroa for a boundary and a six off of successive deliveries but fell to Arjpaul attempting a big shot down the ground.
The match continues tomorrow from 10:00h.