Kevlon Anderson’s five-wicket haul helped Berbice cement their dominance with a five-wicket win over Essequibo in the final round of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB)/ Hand In Hand Mutual Fire and Life Insurance Inter-County Under-19 50 overs competition at Tuschen, East Bank Essequibo yesterday.
Berbice won the toss and sent in the home side to bat and they crumbled for 59 in 24.1 overs while Berbice chased it down with 22 overs to spare.
Despite overnight rain and early morning showers, Tuschen, arguably the best ground hosting the competition this year, enabled the match to be played without any overs being lost.
Pacer, Cheddie Boodhu struck with his first delivery of the competition removing Kevin Christian who edged to slip for just one to set the tempo. Orlando Jailall and Kurt Lovell resisted for a few overs at the crease but extras were given freely before Lovell and Jailall found themselves in a ‘yes, no, yes’ calling that saw Lovell short of his ground and a direct hit from Anderson sending him back in the shed for a top score of 12, the only double figure score for Essequibo and also hitting the only six of the innings.
Jailall marked Anderson’s first wicket, edging to Junior Sinclair behind the stumps while Joel Fortune, Quintin Sampson and Joshua Jones the three leading run getters for the Cinderella county fell in quick succession as Essequibo, winless in this format of the competition faced the barrel of the gun at 6-47 with the rain stopping play for 15 minutes.
Dodi Oselmo also in his first match wasted little time hitting Anderson straight down the ground before stretching forward to push it back to Anderson who juggled it before securing the catch and his fifth wicket.
Meanwhile, Left arm orthodox, Keith Simpson breezed through the tail, claiming the last three wickets for just five runs and signalling the destruction of Essequibo.
Anderson ended on 5-12 earning him the man of the match prize while Simpson bagged 3-7 as Mathew Chung remained unbeaten on six from 50 balls with Extras accounting for 21 runs, the highest aggregate score of the innings.
Essequibo came out with a clear intent to go down fighting as Berbice openers, Alex Algoo and Sinclair played against their natural game and blocked over after over, finding it difficult to cope with the ball whistling past their off stump and on some occasions, lifting.
Algoo, clearly frustrated, tried to break the shackles before edging to slip for 13 with the score 1-26. Javed Karim and Kevin Sinclair didn’t spend long at the crease as Essequibo clawed their way back into the match with Joel Fortune bagging both batsmen. Leg break bowler, Sherlan Anthony trapped set batsman, Junior Sinclair for 14 with the score 52-4 and removing Garfield Benjamin without troubling the scorecard as the umpires extended the session with only eight runs to get.
Essequibo worked overtime to defend and chip away at the wickets but it was a boundary down the ground that finished the match with Anderson unbeaten on 15 and Trevon Stanislaus on four.
Anthony claimed 2-21 as the pick of the bowlers.
Berbice will now face Select Under-17 in the final of the tournament as the two top teams clash at Georgetown Cricket Club on Saturday with the first ball bowling off at 09:30h to see who will be crowned the new champions.