By Calvin Roberts (Guyana Chronicle)
INDEBTED to a solid all-round performance from Malcolm Hubbard, backed by a disciplined fielding display, defending champions West Demerara inflicted a shocking 60-run defeat on Georgetown in their second round Demerara Cricket Board/Diamond Fire and General Insurance Company-sponsored Under-19 Inter-Association encounter at the Wales Community Centre ground yesterday.Asked to bat first in the contest which was reduced to 48 overs aside due to a delayed start, following seepage on the pitch, West Demerara who lost their first round game to East Coast last Tuesday, scored 231 for 6, with Hubbard leading the way with an unbeaten 56.
In reply, Georgetown were bowled out for 171 off 42.1 overs, despite a pugnacious 44 from Sherfane Rutherford, as Hubbard returned with the ball to claim 4 for 26 while Travis Persaud (2 for 10) and Kevin Paul (2 for 44) offered support.
At the Enmore Community Centre ground, East Coast made it two out of two, following their three-wicket win over East Bank, thanks to a pugnacious half-century from national Under-19 opener Brian Sattaur and controlled bowling from Vivian Albert who claimed five scalps.
At Wales, the game got under way one hour late and West Demerara were left in a state of shock when it did, after seeing the demise of Kelvin Shewpersaud who was run-out off the first legal delivery of the match, when he attempted to steal a single to point.
Renaldo Renee and Persaud repaired the damage by adding 58 for the second wicket, before Persaud, who was given a life by Tevin Imloch off the final delivery of the first over from Carlton Jacques, was bowled by Steven Sankar’s first delivery of the 13th over, contributing 18 with three sweetly timed fours.
Chetnarine Pooran (1) was next to go, bowled by Michael Shalim one run after Persaud was dismissed, enabling Renee and Hubbard to add 41 for the third wicket, before Renee, who struck seven fours in his 47, top-edged a pull off Rajendra Dhanraj, for which Kemol Savory took the offer running around to square leg.
When Avinash Dhaniram was caught at long off by Jacques off Tariq Dharamlall for 5 at 108 for 5 in the 29th over, Georgetown probably felt they could destroy the home team’s batting for less than 200, but Hubbard and Daniel Basdeo had other ideas.
The pair posted 92 for the sixth wicket, with Basdeo contributing 44 scored off 50 deliveries with three fours and two sixes before he was caught by substitute Clitus Johnson at short third man off Tevin Imloch in the 45th over at 200 for 6.
Despite the fall of wickets, Hubbard raised his half-century from 92 balls with three fours at 205 for 6 in the following over, even as he proceeded to add 31 valuable runs with Paul, who struck two sixes and one four in his 11 balls unbeaten 23.
Like West Demerara, Georgetown lost a wicket in the first over, that of Sunil Singh who had his leg stump knocked back by Paul, but Rutherford displayed a no-nonsense mood by hitting Basdeo for 4, 6, 4 in the second over, followed by another six in the fourth over of Georgetown’s innings.
Paul was also struck for two fours by Rutherford, who along with Imloch posted Georgetown’s 50 from 5.2 overs, before a good catch by Richie Looknauth at midwicket, who was earlier struck for 4, 6, 4 by Rutherford, sent back the Demerara Cricket Club left-hander at 63 for 2, with his contribution being a 23-ball 44, decorated with four fours and three sixes.
Imloch followed next, caught by Nicoloi Reddy at extra cover off Paul for 14, while Georgetown slipped further into disarray at 68 for 5, having lost the wickets of Dhanraj (03) and Cleon McEwan who was run-out for 2.
Dharmlall 23 (69 balls, 2×4) and Savory 27 (68 balls, 2×4) tried to repair the damage with their 54-run sixth-wicket partnership, but when the former was lbw to Reddy at 122 for 6 and the latter went two runs later, Georgetown were definitely staring at defeat.
Despite an unbeaten 25 scored off 27 balls with three fours from Jacques, the lower order found it difficult to handle the spin of Hubbard, coupled with the fielding display of the home team, and surrendered off the first ball of the 43rd over when Shalim was caught by Ewart Stewart off Persaud for 11.
At Enmore, the overs were reduced to 41 overs per side due to seepage from early morning rains. East Bank took first strike and managed 156 for 9 of their allotted overs, with Ryan Shun and Deonarine Seegobin being the significant scorers with 36 and 37 respectively.
Albert, who was later declared the man-of-the-match did the damage capturing 5 for 34 off his nine overs, before East Coast reached their target of 157 in 35.5 overs, losing seven wickets in the process, with Brian Sattaur leading the way with 61 (7×4, 2×6) while Vishwanauth Ramlakhan made 52, even as Eshan Alli took 4 for 37.