University of Guyana Trojans (UG) are currently on top after day one of their GISE Star Party rental/Trophy Stall first division two-day match against Transport Sports Club at Everest Cricket Club in a match that both teams will be pressing to win as they aim for a place in the semifinal.
After overnight rain, the match was forced to have a late start, losing 22 overs in the day but when play was possible, UG won the toss and took first strike, managing 232 in 54.2 overs before leaving Transport 49-1 after 21 overs.
Keon Morris trapped Dwayne Dodson leg before wicket while 21-year-old seamer Franchot Duncan-Clarke had Godfrey Mathews trying to turn a delivery to leg.
Struggling at 2-2 Morris made UG fall deeper into the hole after national under 15 player Shamar Yearwood on debut, pulled off a superb catch at first slip to remove the captain Melroy Stephenson for 10.
However, Omesh Danram had his revenge, hooking Morris for a boundary before carting him over mid-wicket for the first maximum and then sweeping him for a boundary in the same over. Danram carried on the momentum, bringing up the team’s half century with a four down to mid-wicket off of Morris as UG recovered to 52-3 after 10 overs.
Lyndon Austin, who was dropped at cover and at point while not yet reaching five, made use of his chances and supported Danram in the 40-run stand in which he smashed 34 runs with five fours and one six before departing to Duncan-Clarke.
Austin shared in a partnership worth 95 with Ershaad Ali with the former finding the middle of the bat effortlessly, bringing up his half century with a massive six onto the sight screen. Ali attempted to pull a short ball by off spinner Rafeal Singh down the ground but a beautiful relay catch by Mark Ramsammy and Morris accounted for his wicket. He hammered five fours and a pair of sixes in his innings of 59 with UG 150-5.
Austin who was a spectator in the innings of Danram and Ali let loose late in the day, bringing up his half century with a boundary straight down the ground. He shared in a 52-run stand with Darnel Douglas who tried to hook Duncan-Clarke into the parking lot only to pick out Ramsammy. Austin was also caught in the same for a top score of 74 with six boundaries but a late flurry from UG’s lower order proved vita.
Duncan-Clarke, though, would have the final say, dismantling the stumps of Ray Newton to bring up his maiden five wicket haul at this level and also his 50th wicket in first-division two-day cricket.
Duncan-Clarke closed his innings with 5-54 from 14 overs while Morris and Kevin Ross claimed 2-47 and 2-54 respectively.
In reply, Ramsammy shared a 35-run partnership with national player Adrian Hinds before trying to play a skidding delivery from off-spinner Dennis Heywood into the leg side only to miss completely and have his stumps shattered.
Hinds played some impressive shots including back-to-back boundaries off of Ali as TSC closed with Hinds on 29 not out and Yearwood unbeaten on six.
The action continues today at the same venue from 10.00h. UG would want to win and solidify their place in the semifinals while Transport would need an outright win in order to advance as GNIC are currently topping the table in their group.