Upper Corentyne held their nerve to squeeze out a 23 run victory over Essequibo despite a brilliant century by West Indies U19 all-rounder Keemo Paul, in their fifth round Jaguar Franchise cricket match being played at the Port Mourant Cricket Ground.
Paul, the West Indies U19 vice-captain, had a good all round game and showed his class why he was one of the stars of the winning West Indies U19 squad.
However, despite his 115 which included 13×4 and 2×6 and 39(3×4) from the veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Essequibo needing 248 for victory were bowled out for 224. Anthony Adams made 31(2×6, 1×4).
Resuming on 0-1, Essequibo, whose batsmen showed little class, technique and patience and were soon tottering at 29-5. However, in marched the evergreen Chanderpaul batting at No7 due to him being off the field for a considerable time on the second day due to an injury. Chanderpaul and Paul then set about the repair job, putting together 84 for the 6th wicket as they took the score to 113 as Essequibo staged a fight back before Chanderpaul went.
The Essequibo fight back continued as Paul was joined by Adams and the two featured in a 98 runs partnership as Essequibo began to threaten for a come from behind win.
The two batsmen took the score to 211 before Adams was dismissed. With 47 needed and Paul still at the wicket, Essequibo were still in with a chance. However, with the demise of Paul at 217, it was soon all over for Essequibo, losing their last three wickets for seven runs as they were bowled out for 224.
A point to note it was only the three batsmen that reached double figures in the Essequibo innings in an otherwise lackluster batting display on a good batting track.
All-rounder Eon Hooper continue his good all round performance as he picked up 3-62 to add to his 5-53 in the first innings (match figures of 8 for 115) , Shawn Pereira picked up 3-34, while there were two each for pacers Clinton Pestano and Keon Sinclair.
The win is the first for Upper Corentyne in the competition.
Upper Corentyne had strangely declared their first innings at 206-9, with Rajiv Ivan 93 and Kevlon Anderson 33. Bowling for Essequibo were Kevin Gordon and Antonio Adams with 3 wickets each. They were supported by Ricardo and Akeene Adams with one apiece.
Essequibo in reply fell away for 165, conceding a lead of 41.
Veteran cricket star Shivnarine Chanderpaul led the way with 55, Kemo Paul 29 and Ricardo Peters 21. Off spinner Eon Hooper had ripped through the batting with 5-53, Shawn Pereira, 2 while there was one a piece for Rajiv Ivan and Keon Sinclair.
Upper Corentyne in their second turn at the crease were bowled out for an identical 206. Clinton Pestano led the batting with 45, Kevlon Sinclair 40, Hooper continue his good all round performance by scoring 33, while Jason Sinclair made 20
All-rounder Keemo Paul led the way with the ball snaring 4-29. The Adams trio of left arm spinners snared the remaining six wickets with Anthony collecting three, Ricardo two and Akeene one.
(Taken from Kaieteur News)