Johnson scores most runs, Savory best wicketkeeper

-as Franchise League concludes

Champions! Essequibo celebrates the 2018 GCB Franchise League title

-West Berbice hands Essequibo first loss in last round

After winning the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) 50-overs Franchise League title in the penultimate round, Essequibo suffered  their first loss at the hands of West Berbice who won by 115 runs at Port Mourant, West Berbice yesterday, their fourth consecutive win of the tournament.

After the match, the presentation ceremony immediately followed where Director of Cricket West Indies and GCB Honorary Secretary, Anand Sanasie said the tournament has worked out most of the niggles from the last one, while pleading to help with the rehabilitation of the ground. Sanasie went on to state that the tournament was much closer this year and congratulated Essequibo on a job well done. He pointed out that “something is definitely working over there” as they finished second last year in the tournament and are the reigning three-day champions.

In the prize-giving ceremony, Essequibo walked away with $200,000, 22-year-old Kemol Savory with nine dismissals was the best wicketkeeper for the second year in a row while Leon Johnson was deemed the leading run scorer of the tournament. The leading wicket taker is still to be verified.

Essequibo skipper, Anthony Adams receives his title from GCB Secretary Anand Sanasie

Savory said his success was all about hard work and dedication not only behind the wicket but with bat in hand as well, being only one of three batsmen to score centuries this season.

Successful skipper, Anthony Adams said the tournament was good and the players really pulled through to come out with the title. The captain added that “what is good with the team is that everyone and anyone can win a game on their day” and he was proud of their performance after finishing runners-up last year and crossing the line this year to lift the title

Essequibo won the toss yesterday and decided to give their bench a match, ringing in three changes and taking to the field first on arguably the worst outfield in the competition but one of the better batting pitches which saw West Berbice muscling their way to 278-5 from their full quota and Essequibo replying with 163 all out in 38 overs. West Berbice captain, Gudakesh Motie said it was a good tournament for them and a good match as well, noting that the players gelled well together. He highlighted the support he got from them and Karim’s performance in the tournament has carried on the same form he showed in the recent under-19 tournament. Coach of the new 50-overs champions, Ryan Hercules who adds another title on the list and the reigning three-day champions said that winning is all that the team wants to do and is happy that it  continues to excel. Hercules noted that the youngsters continue to step up and show their worth which is a good sign for cricket.

With a 45-minute delay due to preparation moisture, West Berbice lost Kevin Sinclair to the fourth delivery of the match, trapped leg before wicket to under-19 seamer, Joshua Jones. They recovered well to bring up the team’s fifty in the 11th over and continued that momentum with Leon Andrews and Javed Karim putting on 88 runs from 124 for the second wicket with Karim, another under-19 player being the aggressor. Essequibo picked up two quick wickets, with Andrews (33) and Marvan Persaud who was run out after sharp fielding from substitute, Quentin Sampson.

Seon Glasgow joined Karim, sharing in a partnership worth 42 runs with Karim bringing up his second consecutive fifty. Karim eventually made 74 from 107 balls inclusive of seven fours and a pair of sixes before mistiming a pull shot into the hands of Kevon Boodie who ran in from the long off boundary.

However, the West Berbice skipper, ensured his side scored 103 runs in the last 10 overs as he shared an unbroken partnership of 113 from just 77 balls with Andrew Dutchin. Motie smoked the out of sorts bowling order to all parts of the boundary, flicking, pulling and thumping the bowlers for five fours and a half dozen sixes on his way to his second half century in the tournament, 84 not out, his highest score in franchise cricket from 55 balls. Dutchin remained unbeaten on 39 from 36 balls. Left arm orthodox bowlers, Akinie Adams and Mark Williams took two wickets each for 31 and 45 runs respectively.

In reply, Essequibo were slow in their first 10 overs despite Boodie smashing Keon Joseph for three consecutive fours in the fifth over, reaching 38-1 at the end of the 10-over powerplay with Pamesh Parsotan falling to Sinclair’s off-spin.

Boodie was run out just after the powerplay for 27 while Savory (36) and Anthony Adams shared in a half century partnership. Adams eventually brought up his second consecutive half century as well, scoring 53 with four sixes and one four. Ronsford Beaton (17) and Akinie Adams (10) also made contributions. Kevin Jawahir was the pick of the bowlers, claiming 4-40 while Motie and Sinclair had two wickets each.

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