Apr 23, 2009 Sports
By Sean Devers in Essequibo
In Association with Arabian Hotel
Despite a slight stutter in the middle session, a solid start and a sensational finish to the opening day by host Essequibo left them on top against Demerara when the GTM sponsored under-19 three-day Inter-County cricket tournament began yesterday at the Anna Regina ground in Region Two.
Demerara were on the ropes on two wickets for one run replying to Essequibo’s 227 after lively 16-year-old Reliance pacer Ronsford Beaton sent back national under-19 opener Trevon Griffith and night watchman Amir Khan off the first two balls of the only over in the Demerara innings.
Beaton, urged on a very vocal crowd, ran in and bowled fast and straight. The home fans went wild when Beaton sent Griffith’s off-stump flying and induced Khan to edge a catch to slip as the visitors made a horrendous start to their run chase on a placid track.
Skipper Jeetendra Sookdeo survived the hat-trick delivery and along with Ryan Rajmangal will hope to put together a good partnership today to keep their team in the fight.
Demerara won the toss and put Essequibo into bat and by lunch the hosts were well placed on 86 without loss with National under-17 opener Herrell Greene on 25 and Navin Singh on 19.
The Demerara problems began even before a ball was bowled when there was an argument over the telephone as the teams met the sponsors between Coach Orin Bailey and what has been reported to be a senior member of the Demerara youth Selection panel, who called from Georgetown to discuss team selection.
The Essequibo opening pair played sensible cricket on the large and slight heavy ground and successfully nullified the new ball pair of Seon Daniels and left-armer Andre Stoll as Demerara were shut out of the opening session. The visitors struck 19 minutes after lunch when the 16-year-old Greene, who hit three fours in a composed 55, was leg before to part-time off-spinner Griffith to leave the score on 97-1.
The 17-year-old Singh, who hit four boundaries, was then leg before to leg-spinner Amir Khan when three short of a maiden fifty at this level and Essequibo had lost two wickets in the space of 19 runs. Christopher Blucher (16) and Rovendra Parasram (26) then revived the position before Blucher was leg before to leg-spinner Keshan Seegobin atb153-3 and Parasram was comprehensively bowled by Daniels on the stroke of tea at 154-4 with Skipper Royston Alkins yet to score.
After tea, Alkins was dropped on 18 at slip off Griffith but settled down to play an array of stunning shots, none more so than an exquisite cover driven boundary off Daniels.
The right-handed Alkins lofted national left-arm spinner Totaram Bishun for a six over wide long-on and along with Grayson Paul, who clobbered Griffith for a four and six off consecutive balls in his cameo 20, entertained the crowd which included students from the Cotton Field Secondary and Anna Regina Multilateral, with attractive stroke play after Bishun had removed Anthony Adams (6) 165-5.
Just when the partnership was beginning to look ominous, Paul lofted Griffith to Stoll and Essequibo were 194-6.
The lower order failed to stay with Alkins who tried to manipulate the strike in sweltering heat but Bishun, who cleverly spun the ball both ways on the slow track, removed Kevin Boodie (3) and Floyd Henry (4) ran himself out 11 runs later as Essequibo slipped to 220-8. Suresh Persaud, dropped at silly mid-off by Griffith off Khan before he had scored, was bowled at 227-9 by Shivgobin who picked up wickets in his only two overs to finish with 2-4.
Impetuosity then got the better of Alkins who was bowled off-stump by Khan as he missed an almighty pull at a short ball after hitting three fours and a six in his 36.
Khan, a national under-17 player, took 2-25 from 15.1 overs while Bishun (2-78 from 25 overs), Griffith (2-44 from 14 overs) and Daniels (1-28 from 12 overs) were the other wicket takers for Demerara before Beaton put his team in the ascendancy with an over full of vigor, pace and plenty of questions for the rest of the batsmen to come today.
Returning to cricket after a back strain, Sookdeo has plenty of talent and he knows the magnitude of his job today as Demerara attempt to pull themselves back into the fray.
Demerara left out Carl Rambharose, Ricardo Devers and Dilon Fernandes while Essequibo omitted Rovi Harris, Tulsiram Premnauth and Dwayne Singh.
Scores: Essequibo 227; Demerara 1-2.
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