Franchises boosted by return of CPL players

Raymon Reifer

With the second round of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) 50-overs Franchise League set to play today, the returning Caribbean Premier League players will be available for their respective franchises even as defending champions, Georgetown and runners up Essequibo gun for another win this season.

Essequibo will travel to Berbice where they will take on Lower Corentyne at the Albion Community Development Centre ground.

In the other matches, Georgetown will play East Bank at Everest, East Coast will battle West Demerara at Lusignan and West Berbice and Upper Corentyne will square off at the Port Mourant Community Centre ground.

Essequibo and Lower Corentyne have both notched up wins in the lone round played so far. Essequibo hammered West Demerara by 90 runs while Lower Corentyne held their nerve for a three-run win over West Berbice.

Both teams have shown fight and determination early on. For Essequibo, Kemol Savory’s dream run continues having smashed the tournament’s lone century so far while Lower Corentyne depended heavily on Jonathan Foo in their match. Apart from these two batsman, the batting looks very vulnerable despite the presence of a lot of national under-19 players.

However, the bowling department looks much more sound with Essequibo’s Richardo Adams and Anthony Adams getting the job done.

Lower Corentyne have been able to spread the load around with Kevin Umroa continuing his successful run alongside Kassim Khan.

The match is significantly important since the tournament, now down to five rounds, will see one team recording two wins in two matches while the other will suffer their first loss. Defending Champions, Georgetown did not look out of place in their match, whipping Upper Corentyne by seven wickets at the hands of the Leon Johnson/Christopher Barnwell show. They will have the upper hand against East Bank who flattered to deceive in their chase against East Coast after bowling East Coast out for 157 while Trevon Griffith smashed 78 at the top of the order only to lose.

East Bank will need to fix their issues fast if they are to put up a fight but will feel confident with the return of Sherfane Rutherford and Romain Muniram who were with the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the Caribbean Premier League where the former excelled with the bat.

Georgetown’s only issue could be fast bowler, Franchot Duncan-Clark who came off the field with a toe issue. Should he not be able to play, Qumar Torrington will have a chance to step up.

Alternately, West Berbice and Upper Corentyne will both be looking to get on the board having lost their opening matches.

West Berbice will have the upper hand having produced a near win while Upper Corentyne were outplayed by Georgetown.

East Coast are on a role, swinging their fortunes to come out on top in their last match but with West Demerara already accustomed to the conditions at Lusignan, coupled with the return of Raymon Reifer, Akshaya Persaud and Romario Shepherd, they will be difficult to deal with.

The likes of Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul and Devindra Bishoo will not be a part of the tournament after being named in the West Indies squad to tour India.

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