Berbice were crowned champions of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Inter County U-15 50-over tournament after defeating Demerara by 31 runs at Wales Community Centre ground, West Bank Demerara.
Led by a fine half century from Garfield Benjamin, Berbice scored 160-5 from their allotted overs after they were asked to bat in hazy conditions. Openers Junior Sinclair and Brandon Mangal added 34 before Sinclair was caught and bowled by medium pacer Alphius Bookie for 19 (2×4). Steady bowling by the host restricted the scoring rate to some extent, but Mangal and skipper Kelvin Anderson inched the score to 61 before Mangal was taken off Pradesh Balkishun for 17. Bengamin joined Anderson and the pair rotated the strike nicely before Balkishun had Anderson caught and bowled for seven at 94-3.
Pacer Qumar Torrington sent back Alex Algoo (12), while Bookie accounted for Andre Bissoon (00) to leave the Berbicians in a some difficulty at 121-5.
But Benjamin played with a straight bat and shared in a 37-run seven-wicket stand with Sean Glasgow to beef up the visitors total towards the latter stages of the innings. Benjamin, who was later named man of the match, struck six fours before he was dismissed for a well played 59. Glasgow and Kelvin Omroa were the not out batsmen on 16 and two respectively. Balkishun took 2-20, Bookie 2-32 and Torrington 1-32.
Demerara lost opener Robin Williams (09) with the score on 20, but Adrian Hinds and Balkishun added 39 for the second wicket to put their team on course. However, skipper Anderson provided his team with the breakthrough when he had Balkishun caught for 17 (2×4). Hinds continued to play his shots and shared in a third wicket stand of 24 with the level-headed Bookie. The pair seemed untroubled as they kept the score board ticking. But Berbice stuck a double blow which proved to be the turning point of the game.
Left arm spinner Omroa disturbed the stumps of the left-handed Hinds for 24 (3×4) before Anderson had Bookie caught and bowled for 16 as the host slipped to 89-4. The Berbicians maintained a decent line and length and only Qumar Torrington of the remaining batsmen reached double figures (14*); Demerara lost their last six batsmen for 40 runs as they were bowled out for 129 in 44 overs. Off-spinner Anderson finished with 4-15 while Navindra Persaud had 2-12, Omroa 2-28 and Nigel Deodat 1-34.
At the presentation ceremony, Territorial Development Officer Colin Stuart congratulated the winners, while chairman of the GCB junior selection panel, Nazimul Drepaul urged the players to take the game seriously and said that the players will be selected on the national team based on their performance in the tournament which is one of the main criteria for selection.