Led by a swash-buckling 74-run opening partnership betweenJunior Sinclair and Alex Algu in just 8.2 overs and a mesmerizing spell of left-arm spin bowling from Man-of-the-Match Alex Umroa (3-6 from 6 overs) Berbice Schools Combined destroyed Essequibo Schools Combined by 10-wickets yesterday at Bourda in the second annual GCB/DMLAS/MOE National Combined Schools’ 50-over cricket tournament.
Sinclair followed-up his 61 in the semi-finals with a run-a-ball 36 with five fours and a six, while Algu, who finished the one-sided contest with a six and four off Lance Roberts, reached the boundary four times and cleared it once in his 17-ball unbeaten 31 to power the Berbician to 74 without loss in reply to Essequibo’s paltry 71 all out in 24 overs.
Only openers Skipper Orlando Jailall whose 18 included two boundaries and Bomesh Ramdahim who made 15 with one four, reached 15 as Essequibo stumbled from 30 without loss to 71 all out. Only Roberts, batting at number six, of the other batsmen, reached double figures with an undefeated 11.
Umroa got support from Nigel Deodat (3-25) as they befuddled the Essequibians who have become prone to such collapses at all levels.
Algu started the run chase with two gorgeous boundaries off Stefon Charles in the first over before Sinclair slammed three fours in the second over from Bodesh Parsaton, including an effortless whip off his pads which sped across the outfield of which three quarters of it was cut yesterday.
Algu took advantage of a flat track and a day blessed with glorious sunshine and braced Charles for a magnificent cover boundary as the score galloped to 29 in three overs in the t20 like run chase.
The inform Sinclair swept Parsaton for four before dancing into Sherland Anthony and blasting him to the mid wicket boundary to bring up the 50 in the sixth over.
Sinclair was in a no-nonsense mood and whipped David Challitar over the GCC Pavilion for six and with eight runs to win, Algu whet after Roberts with murderous intent to put an exclamation mark on the victory at 13:50hrs.
Earlier, a 90-minute delay caused the game to be reduced to 40 overs due to the closure of the Berbice River Bridge and Essequibo elected to bat after both teams were met by the hard working Director of Sports Christopher Jones.
Jailall struck the first ball of the game from pacer Gevon Shultz like a rocket past mid-off to the boundary boards before caressing Leon Swammy down the ground for four more and the Essequibo supporters were on their feet.
Ramdahim, who scored 99 for Anna Regina Multilateral against Leguan Secondary during the inter school stage of the tournament, went on the back foot and pounded Deodat to the cover boundary but once Jailall hit Deodat to deep mid-off to throw his wicket away at 30-1 in the seventh over his unnecessary demise and that of Ramdahim, who removed by Umroa in the eleventh over, triggered a dramatic Essequibo batting collapse.
Not helped by three needless run outs, the team for Guyana’s largest, but least populated County, slumped from 39-1 to 71 all out after Parsaton had stroked Deodat past his ankles for four to post the 50 in the 17th over before he was dismissed by Deodat for seven at 57-6.
Robert offered token resistance before he ran out of partners but the result was never in question in a final which could have been played at the beautiful Imam Bacchus ground in Region two, arguable the second best ground to the Providence Stadium in Guyana.
A GCB official called to inform the representatives of the sponsors that the game had been completed and after a lengthy delay they finally arrived.
Essequibo took the time to tour the upper flat of the GCC to take a look at historical photos and information on the walls.
Kevlon Anderson took the MVP Award, while 12-year-old Mavendra Dindyal was named the most promising player. Medals and trophies for the winners and runners-up were presented.