But Alkins (41*) leads E’bo resistance
By Sean Devers in Essequibo
In association with Arabian Hotel
Albion left-hander Sahadeo Somai’s fell six short of a ton as Berbice took a 74-run first innings lead against Essequibo on the penultimate day of their three-day GTM under-19 cricket match at the Anna Regina ground here yesterday and are in a commanding position to win the match today.
The 18-year-old Somai was last out for 92 while Seon Hetmyer, one of four Guyana under-19 players in the Berbice team, fell one short of his fourth half-century at this level as Berbice recovered from their overnight 72-6 to reach 235 in reply to Essequibo’s 161 as the seventh-wicket pair added 64 runs yesterday.
Debutant pacer Rovi Harris picked up 4-53 while Ronford Beaton and Grayson Paul supported with two wickets each for Essequibo.
Skipper Royston Alkins (41*) and Floyd Henry (1) are the not out batsmen with their team enjoying a lead of 33 runs with five wickets in hand going into the final day today. Alkins, the only national under-19 player in the Essequibo side, looked sound yesterday and much will depend on him today if Essequibo are to avoid defeat.
By lunch Berbice were within five runs of first innings points with Hetmyer, who was unbeaten on 20 overnight, being the only batsman to be dismissed. The elegant right-hander batted responsibly in the half-century partnership with the pint-size Somai and his on-driving and use of his feet to the spinners was pleasing to the eye.
The Berbice overnight pair defied the hosts for an hour and 33 minutes before Hetmyer was bowled by the 17-year-old Harris to leave the score on 136-7.
Handicapped by the loss of Beaton, the tournament’s quickest bowler, who only bowled two overs yesterday due to an ankle injury, Essequibo were again guilty of throwing away a good position by dropping crucial catches.
With Beaton, the leading pacer in the tournament with seven wickets, off the field, the pressure on the batsmen was released and Somai batted doggedly to be unbeaten on 38 at lunch. With him was skipper Anthony Bramble on 10 after both batsmen were dropped.
Essequibo had put down four vital catches in the closing stages of their drawn first round a game against Demerara after they had taken first innings points and were pressing for an outright win. Demerara accepted the bad light offer with eight wickets down.
Yesterday, Somai (31) was dropped at cover off Paul at 338-7 while Bramble was put down at slip off the hard working Harris at 150-7 as the hosts wasted easy opportunities to separate the eighth wicket pair.
A sharp shower delayed the start of the second session by 31 minutes and when play resumed at 13:11hrs Berbice, the double defending champions quickly secured first innings points in overcast conditions.
While Berbice and Guyana under-19 leg-spinner Jonathon Foo extracted turn in his career best 9-53 to befuddle the Essequibo batsmen in the first innings and Beaton continued to impress with his genuine pace, the pitch offered little to the bowlers and yesterday’s level-headed batting from Hetmyer and Somai was in contrast to the reckless shot selection from batsmen on both teams on the opening day when sixteen wickets tumbled.
The small crowd yesterday again included just two selectors although it was confirmed that Nazimaul Drepaul was appointed to replace Sheik Mohamed who had resigned.
When the action resumed, Bramble was leg before for 23 at 181-8 as Harris, a short, stocky pacer from the Pomeroon River, continued to impress.
Somai reached his first fifty at any level and his cover-driving and slashes through point became increasingly powerful as his innings progressed.
Another shower, with the score on 186-8 sent the players scurrying off the field at 13:42hrs with Somai on 58 and Kyron Fraser yet to score.
When play resumed at 14:06hrs, Fraser (8) stayed around with Somai to add 47 for the ninth wicket before Fraser drove Paul to mid-off at 228-9.
A scorching cover driven boundary took Somai to 94 before he was bowled next ball by Paul as the innings ended on the stroke of tea.
After tea, Navin Singh and Herrell Greene, who shared in half-century partnerships against Demerara and in the first innings of this match, could only gave Essequibo a 15-run opening start before Singh (9), who looked more comfortable against pace, was bowled by left arm spinner Trinson Carmicheal opening the bowling with Fraser.
Christopher Blucher (8) was removed by Fraser at 35-2 while Greene (22) was stumped off Carmichael three runs later.
Rovindra Parasram (19) and Alkins took the score to 100 with attractive stroke play before Parasram missed a sweep at Foo and was bowled behind his back, while night watchman Beaton (5) was run out six minutes before the close. Carmichael has so far picked up 2-20 for Berbice hunting their second consecutive win against Essequibo at this level.
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