GCB UNDER-19 INTER-COUNTY…Demerara retain title with innings victory over President’s XI

By Calvin Roberts (Guyana Chronicle)
DEFENDING champions Demerara easily retained their Guyana Cricket Board Under-19 Inter-county title yesterday afternoon, following an innings-and-49-run victory over the President’s XI at the Georgetown Cricket Club ground.This was mainly due to the bowling of Keon Morris and Shurfane Rutherford, who did well to supplement Tagenarine Chanderpaul’s first-innings 167, which piloted the defending champions to a mammoth 407 for 7 declared.
Resuming yesterday’s final day on 152 for 7 with Ronaldo Ali Mohammed and Damion Waldron on 6 and 9 respectively, in search of 255 more runs to make Demerara bat again, President’s XI folded for 215, 20 minutes before lunch, with Morris picking up 3 for 31 and Rutherford 3 for 36, backed by Steven Sankar’s 2 for 60.
Mohammed went on to make 18 (23 balls, 3×4) and Waldron 38 (110 balls, 6×4) before they were both dismissed, while skipper Gavin Moriah made a valiant 21 that was decorated with three fours.
With a lead of 192, Demerara enforced the follow-on and after seeing Sunil Singh 14 (2×4) and Ryan Shun 21 (2×4) add 29 for the first wicket on a good batting track, must have pondered their decision.
But Morris bowled Singh, followed by the quick demise of Avishkar Sewkarran without scoring and when Rutherford, who worked up some pace and got bounce out of the track, dismissed Shun via lbw, President’s XI were 39 for 3.
It quickly became 69 for 7, following the quick demise of Nick Ramsaroop (2), Kareem Mentore (4), Michael Shalim 23 (14 balls, 5×4) and Waldron 1, before Mohammed and Moriah took them to the tea break on 81 for 7, with Mohammed on 8 and Moriah 4.
After the break, Demerara gave Mohammed two lives for which the right-handed batsman said thanks with two sixes off Morris in one over, forcing a ball change with the second six, while Moriah drove Rutherford authoritatively through extra cover for his second four.
However, Morris had the last laugh in his next over, when Mohammed, in his attempt to drive the right-handed Transport Sports Club medium pacer through the cover region, got a edge through to Kemol Savory, bringing his eighth-wicket partnership with Moriah, that was worth 52 valuable runs, to an end.
Mohammed struck two fours and a similar number of sixes in his 59-ball 37 and he was quickly followed back to the pavilion by Moriah 24 (59 balls, 3×4), who looked on in amazement as Morris held a low return catch to his left, at 132 for 9.
It was not how the end came but rather when and with the umpires signalling the start of the final hour’s play, Demerara skipper Brian Sattaur turned to the left-arm spin of Chanderpaul who completed the job in his second over.
Daniel Lewis (1) was lured out of his crease by a well-flighted delivery and failed to get back, as Savory completed the stumping and at the same time got his fourth dismissal of the innings, leaving Matthew Shivtahal on 10. The President’s XI folded for 143 in 51.3 overs, with Morris 4 for 32 and Rutherford 3 for 46 being the chief destroyers.
Attention now turns to the one-day version of the tournament which bowls off tomorrow with Essequibo playing the President’s X1 at the Everest Cricket Club ground, while Demerara face Berbice at the Wales Community Centre ground.