Georgetown took the GCB 50-overs Franchise League trophy and the $200,000 winners’ cheque after completing a three
wicket win against three-day defending Champs Essequibo at Providence yesterday.
Essequibo had played unbeaten in the preliminary rounds and earned a direct passage to yesterday’s final, while Georgetown defeated Lower Corentyne in Tuesday’s semi-final.
Chris Barnwell, a 31-year-old all-rounder from DCC followed up his 101 and 2-19 in the semi-finals with another Man-of-the-Match performance to claim the MVP of the Tournament and stake a strong claim for selection in the Jaguars Super50 side when Raymon Reifer leaves for Windies duties in the middle of the tournament in Antigua.
The pugnacious Barnwell first had 2-32 to help dismiss Essequibo for 192 in 38.3 overs before returning with the bat with an aggressive 69 from 68 balls with seven fours and a six to see G/Town to 193-8 in a contest they made harder than it should have been.
Barnwell and Skipper Leon Johnson, who reached the boundary on four occasions and cleared it once in his 86-ball 47 featured in a 135-run third wicket stand after joining forces at 22-2. Shemroy Barrington (22) was the only other G/Town batsman to reach 20 as the City side lost their last five wickets for 36 runs once Johnson departed.
Ricardo Adams, who opened the bowling with his off-spin, had 2-45, while pacer Kemo Paul had 2-41 in a losing effort.
G/town started badly; losing Andrew Lyght (2) bowled by Ricardo Adams and Robin Bacchus LBW to Paul before the Johnson/Barnwell show began.
The pair, with contrasting styles, produced the perfect foil for each as Barnwell was the Butcher and Johnson the Surgeon.
When on 39 with the score on 91-2, Barnwell hit Leoryan Ramlakhan to long-off where Joshua Jones took catch on the second attempt but the alert Barnwell promptly pointed out to the Umpires that an extra fielder was positioned outside of the 30-yard circle making the delivery a no-ball.
Barnwell went to work on the bowlers; hitting them to all parts of the ground while Johnson found the gaps with exquisite timing and placement as the partnership flourished under sunny skies.
Johnson departed at 157-3 and Shemroy Barrington arrived at the crease and was looking set for a big score, stroking Anthony Adams for a couple of delightful boundaries after Barnwell had deposited him into the Green Stand.
Barnwell hammered Ricardo Peters for consecutive fours before being caught in the deep off the next ball, while Barrington was bowled by Paul nine runs later and when Lewis (17) and Dexter Solomon (4) were removed in the space of a run to leave the score 184-7, 10 runs were still needed.
Paul Wintz (1) and Steven Sankar (7) saw their team home
Earlier, a 55-run fourth wicket stand between Paul, who reached the ropes four times and cleared it twice in his 29-ball 39 and Kemol Savory, who struck six fours from 29 balls in his 32 was the catalyst that Essequibo needed but once they were separated only Ricardo Peters with 22 and last man Ramlakhan (21) offered fight.
Lewis (3-34), Barnwell (2-32), Johnson (2-24) and Devon Lord (2-25) combined to orchestrate Essequibo’s demise.
On a flat track and patchy outfield and playing before virtually empty stands, Essequibo were in early trouble at 24-3. Kevin Boodie, the only batsman in Guyana with an inter-county double century, was removed by Wintz at 4-1. Barnwell then bowled Eaknaut Persaud (0) and Ricardo Adams (7).
Savory and Paul joined forces in ‘operation rebuild’ with an array of scintillating shots.
Savory smashed Wintz for three boundaries, while Paul pulled him for six.
Savory then executed an imperious on drive off Barnwell before Paul deposited him over long-off for six.
Savory swivelled and disdainfully pulled Wintz for six before hooking him for four to post the 50 stand.
But with the score on 87, Savory was bowled by Lewis and when Paul was caught at backward point playing an ill-advised reverse sweep off Lewis the score was 100-5 and Essequibo in danger of falling below 150.
However, Mark Williams (12) lofted Lord for six and a four off consecutive balls before Lewis trapped him LBW at 121-6.
Peters threw his bat around and along Anthony Adams took the score to 148 before Adams (16) was LBW to Lord and Peters fell to Johnson’s leg-spin at 162-8.
Lord removed Jones (2) before Ramlakhan hit Johnson for consecutive sixes before falling to him.