By: Sean Devers (Kaieteur News)
When bad light stopped play with 13 minutes remaining on the penultimate day ofthe final round four-day Inter-County game between Berbice and the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Development team at Wales in West Bank Demerara, Berbice were 136-4 going into today’s final day, enjoying a lead 188 with Skipper Narsingh Deonarine unbeaten on 55.
Test batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s first four-day Inter-County ton, along with useful support from the lower order, had earlier lifted the GCB X1 to 366 all out, 52 runs behind Berbice’s 418.
When played resumed with the GCB X1 on 254-6, 40-year-old veteran Chanderpaul carried his overnight 77 to 123, while Kemol Savory, who hails from West Demerara, was the first to go at 260-7 after adding just six to his overnight 34.
The left-handed wicket-keeper, urged on by another good turn out to ‘stay with Shiv’, was excellently set-up by fast bowler Keon Joseph, who ran in and bowled fast on a slow track in sunny conditions.
The West Berbice pacer bowled a couple of quick bouncers at Savory, pushing him back before pitching one up to induce a drive with his weight on the back foot, offering a catch to cover to end a 94-run stand with Chanderpaul, which began on Wednesday afternoon.
Chanderpaul began in positive fashion; punishing Joseph for two boundaries after the second new ball was taken at the start of play, while home boy Yatesh Dhanpaul joined Chanderpaul and got off the mark with consecutive fours on the lightening fast outfield.
Chanderpaul looked a lot more aggressive than on the previous day when he took over four hours to reach 77. The most capped West Indian counter-attacked the bowlers to race into the 90s with a couple fours off Joseph as he bisected the fielders with immaculate precision.
With Chanderpaul on 99, Dhanpaul temporarily curbed his natural aggression and blocked four balls from left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul before Chanderpaul pulled the lively Joseph for his 10th four when Joseph tested the prolific left-hander with a bouncer.
His hundred took 225 balls and 320 minutes and was a study in concentration and commitment. It was also an education in batting for GCB’s squad made up mainly of members of this year’s Under-19 Regional Double Champions.
Dhanpaul celebrated Chanderpaul’s century with a deliberate ‘hook’ over the top, off Permaul but soon orchestrated his own demise with a ‘brainless’ shot trying to clear the man on the long-on boundary off Royston Crandon after making 18 to leave his team on 298-8.
Chanderpaul was then caught at short cover at 313-9 off Crandon, who along with Ricardo Adams will replace Under-18 players Kemo Paul and Shemron Hetymer in today’s auction in Barbados for players in the new First-Class franchise cricket.
Chanderpaul’s century lasted 390 minutes, 265 balls and was decorated with 13 fours. By Lunch the Development side were 326-9 with Steven Sankar on nine and fellow national U-19 spinner Sharaz Ramcharran on six.
Sankar’s first two scoring shots were boundaries and after the interval the Malteenoes leg-spinner continued to go after the bowlers, hammering Crandon for a six and four in the same over.
Sankar was very batsman-like and was the dominant partner in the 53-run last wicket stand with Ramcharran (15) before he was LBW to Deonarine after making 37 in 47 minutes, 46 balls with five fours and a six. Joseph, Raun Johnson, Crandon, Permaul and Deonarine had two wickets each for Berbice who quickly lost Kandasammy Surujnarine (6) run out at 8-1 and Devon Clements (0) caught behind off Paul eight runs later.
Seon Hetymer, who used his feet and danced into Ramcharran to hit him for six and Deonarine, who dumped Ramcharran for a couple of sixes before clobbering Jacobs for another six, took the score 97 before Hetymer was LBW to Sankar, his 41 came from 120 minutes and 79 balls.
Jonathon Foo joined Deonarine, who looked rock solid and entertained the fans with an array of elegant drives and reached his fifty from 108 balls with three sixes and a four. Foo hit a 44-ball 24 before he departed at 136-4 just before the close for night watchman Joseph to join Deonarine.
But before he faced his first ball bad light halted to the day’s play.