A scintillating century by national Under-17 batsman Bashkar Yadram and a good all-round performance by Joshua Persaud led Georgetown-Mahaicony Combine to victory over Essequibo Combine to claim the Combine Elite League title in the conclusion of the GCB/Banks DIH Ltd/ Digicel National Secondary School Cricket League yesterday.
Playing at the Georgetown Cricket Club ground, Essequibo Combine won the toss and elected to bowl. However, from the moment Yadram smashed the first legal delivery (first delivery was a wide) of the match over square-leg for four, it looked like a decision the team from the Cinderella county would regret.
Georgetown-Mahaicony Combine, who defeated a strong Berbice Combine team in their semi-final in Berbice on Tuesday, opened their innings with Yadram who scored 74 in the semi-final and national Under-15 batsman Sachin Singh, fresh off an Inter-County century for Demerara Under-15 in the just concluded GCB Under-15 Inter-County. The pair put on 155 for the first wicket. It was until then that the Essequibo Combine made a breakthrough in the 30th over when Yadram was dismissed for a commanding 106. His knock included 10 fours and one six. Sachin Singh immediately followed for a well-played 48 (2X4).
Then the captain and inform batsman, Joshua Persaud, ensured that there was no major scare at the end of the innings; he scored 48 (4×4). Georgetown-Mahaicony Combine finished on 255/8 off their allotted 50 overs. Bowling for Essequibo Combine, left-arm spinner Joel Fortune took 2/36 while Bishan Moses had 2/44.
Essequibo Combine, who defeated Upper Demerara- West Demerara Combine in their semi-final matchup, started their chase badly, loosing their first two wickets with only 14 runs on the board. Then Rayon Venture and Randy Rooplall rebuild the innings a bit, putting together a 50-run partnership.
However, both batsmen fell in quick succession and derailed any hope the Essequibians had of seriously challenging the target. Venture was dismissed for 48 and Rooplall 23. Joshua Jones came in the end and smashed a quickfire 37 but it was all too late for the Essequibians as they eventually folded for 179 off the final delivery of their innings. Joshua Persaud returned with with his off-spin and bagged 5/19 for Georgetown-Mahaicony Combine.