By Sean Devers (Kaieteur News)
Blairmount right-hander Avinash Sewkarran fashioned his first Inter-County century and was supported by fifties from Ronaldo Mohamed and Ryan Shun as the President’s XI ended the opening day of their Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) three-day under-19 Inter-County second round fixture against Essequibo in the driver’s seat at DCC yesterday despite a five-wicket haul from off-spinner Akil Wallace.
Sewkarran (109) and Shun (70) rode their luck to put together 150 for the third wicket, while 15-year-old Mohamed smashed an explosive 75 as the President’s X1, who lost to Demerara in their opening match, reached 332 all out, 15 minutes before the close with Wallace capturing 5-96 for Essequibo who were 9-0 when the bails were lifted.
Avinash Persaud (dropped before he had scored in the first over from Gavin Moriah) and Ricardo Peters survived a testing three over spell from Moriah and Mohamed in fading light.
The President’s XI won the toss and elected to bat in overcast conditions on a slow track and quickly lost Sunil Singh (7) to Travis Drakes and Nick Ramsaroop (10), clean bowled by the lively Kemo Paul to leave the President’s X1 on 34-2.
But Sewkarran and Shun, who plays for GNIC in the City, joined forces and aided by some sloppy work in the field by Essequibo, orchestrated operation ‘rebuild’ with their century partnership and see their team to 113-2 by Lunch with Sewkarran on 54 and Shun on 38.
After the interval, shun who dropped at least four times and reached his fifty from 96 balls with eight fours, fell at 184-3 to give Wallace, the brother of former Guyana youth player David Wallace, his first victim as the batsman pulled a long hop ‘miles’ into the air to be caught on the mid-wicket boundary.
Travis Persaud (9) soon had his leg stump rocked back by Wallace who rarely tried to flight the ball on the small ground and the Presidents X1 were 205-4.
Wallace struck twice in the space of four runs when he bowled Shivnarine Srikisoon (9) and Sewkarran, who hit eight fours and six sixes in his 147-ball ton to leave the score on 223-6.
Sewkarran, who reached his 50 from just 52 balls and his ton 127 balls, was dropped twice and struggled badly in the nervous nineties after stroking the ball with superb timing and confidence earlier in his innings. The West Berbice batsman should have been run out on 99 when he called for a suicidal single and was left stranded almost half-way down the pitch only to see the Keeper drop the ball and never bothered to remove the bails.
Wallace then got rid of Vivian Albert (5) to capture his maiden five-wicket haul at this level before the pugnacious Mohamed, a national under-15 all-rounder, reached his fifty from 50 balls before falling to Paul at 326-9 after hitting 19 fours and clearing the boundary four times in his 75 from just 70 balls.
Last man Ershad Alli (6) played some elegant drives before he was bowled by Akini Adams to end the innings from 88.3 overs.
Play on the penultimate day today is scheduled to commence at 10:00 hrs and Essequibo will have a lot of work to do to take first innings points.