By: Calvin Roberts (Chronicle)
BERBICE’S skipper Narsingh Deonarine was named Most Valuable Player of the just concluded Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) senior Inter-county limited overs competition, which his team won following their 10-run victory over Demerara at the Albion Community Centre ground on Saturday.
Asked to bat first by a team who humiliated them in the preliminary round with a 144- run defeat, Berbice scored a challenging 163 all out off 25.4 overs, thanks to Deonarine’s 44 (46balls, 3×4, 1×6) and 30 from Devon Clements (44 balls, 2×4).
Paul Wintz, who give Demerara a solid start in the rain reduced contest that saw early morning showers leaving some parts of the outfield under water, by removing Kandasammy Surujnarine (00) with the second ball of the day’s play, on his way to finishing with 3 for 40.
There were two wickets each for Robin Bacchus and Steven Jacobs, who celebrated his 26th birthday on the day of the contest, for 24 and 31 runs respectively for Demerara who slipped from 85 for 1 to 153 for 9 in reply, when their overs expired.
Trevon Griffith 44 (51balls, 2×4) and Bacchus 25 (26balls, 2×4; 1×6), were their principal scorers, as Veerasammy Permaul (3 for 32), Keon Joseph 2 for 23 and Deonarine 2 for 23 ensured the Berbicians, who were named joint winners of the same tournament with Demerara last year in another rain ruined contest, came away as sole winners this time around.
In Berbice’s innings, Clements and national wicketkeeper/batsman Anthony Bramble (12) added 34 for the second wicket, with both batsmen hitting a boundary each off Jacobs and Demerara’s skipper Christopher Barnwell respectively, before Bramble was lbw to left arm spinner Raj Nannan (1 for 18).
His demise enabled Clements and Deonarine, who was later named Man of the Match, to add an additional 34 for the third wicket before Clements was caught by Griffith at long on off Jacobs, followed quickly by Rajiv Ivan (10) at 94 for 4 in the 18th over.
Boundaries from Deonarine, who greeted Wintz back into the attack with back to back fours including an audacious square cut, after he had hit Zaheer Mohammed back over his head for the lone six in his team’s innings, pushed the Ancient County side past the 100 runs mark.
A well-judged catch by Jacobs on the deep midwicket boundary, accounted for Deonarine off Bacchus at 120 for 4, Berbice lost a sedate looking Jonathan Foo (10), who was given out obstructing the field, when he flung and connected with a wild swing at a Barnwell’s throw at the wicket, with the ball ending up in the long off boundary, after the bowler had done some sharp fielding on his follow-through.
Lusty blows from Gudakesh Motie-Kanhai 12 (2×4) along with brisk running between the wickets in the dying stages of their overs, ensured Berbice got to their formidable and what turned out to be winning total in the end.
Griffith and Andrew Lyght who was given a life by Deonarine at slip off a lively looking Romario Shepherd-DeJonge, added 37 for the first wicket with Lyght saying thanks for his life given in the fourth over, by hitting the same bowler for two fours with authority in the sixth over, after Griffith had also struck him for four off the first ball.
With a never say die attitude, Shepherd-DeJonge had the last laugh when he bowled Lyght with the final delivery of the sixth over, much to the delight of Deonarine, before Bacchus and Griffith pushed the score to 85 with their 48 runs second wicket partnership.
Bacchus struck Permaul over long on for the lone maximum in his team’s innings before he picked out Motie-Kanhai at deep midwicket, in his attempt to hit Deonarine over that area, while a delivery from Permaul that kept low, knocked back the middle and leg stumps of the hard hitting Barnwell for 3 at 92 for 3.
Griffith, Rajendra Chandrika (12, 1×4) and Shemroy Barrington (01) all perished soon after as Demerara slipped further into the abyss of defeat to be 123 for 6 in fading light, while they continued to lose wickets regularly.
Mohammed 13 (2×4) tried to keep them in the hunt but perished in the deep off Permaul, before Joseph returned to knock over Jacobs and had Chandrapaul Hemraj (10) caught at the wicket by Bramble in the 24th over.
Needing to score 26 off the final two overs to claim the win, Nannan and Wintz only got 16 of those, with the former finishing unbeaten on 14 (11balls, 1×4) and Wintz 5, as the Berbicians avenged their humiliating preliminary round loss, much to the delight of their fans and coaching staff.
At the brief presentation ceremony that followed, Essequibo’s wicketkeeper/batsman Kevon Boodie won the award for Most Runs (259), Deonarine edged Jacobs to the Most Wickets due to a better economy rate for his 10 wickets at 3.53 in comparison to Jacobs’ 10 wickets at 3.63), Barrington (Best Wicketkeeper) and Griffith (Best Fielder).
Berbice collected $100,000 and the winner’s trophy from acting president of the GCB Faizul Bacchus, while Vemen Walter presented Demerara with their $50,000 cheque and trophy which was the spoil for the runner-up.