By Sean Devers at Albion
Berbice Skipper Assad Fudadin registered the competition’s only century as his team retained their El Dorado 50-overs cricket title with a six-wicket victory against Demerara at Albion yesterday.
Asked to bat first, Demerara slumped from 148-1 to 236-9 in 50 overs as Trevon Griffith led the way with an attractive 88-ball 78 with six fours and got support from Skipper Leon Johnson who was run out for 45. Off-spinners Narsingh Deonarine had 2-30 and Krishendat Ramoo 2-55 for the hosts who reached 237-4 in 42 overs in reply.
Fudadin led from the front with an unbeaten 110-ball 105 with 10 fours and the explosive Jonathon Foo blasted 43 from 39 balls with five fours and a six before he was stumped off a leg-side offering from Skipper Leon Johnson.
On a fast but rough outfield which made fielding inside the 30-yard area a dangerous occupation, Shemroy Barrington (16) and Griffith against provided Demerara with a solid foundation on a low and slow track. The left-handed Griffith looked confident and an exquisite ‘inside out’ cover driven boundary off Keon Joseph was pure class while a disdainful straight drive for four off Assad Fudadin was a joy to watch.
With the partnership already 40 in just eight overs, Barrington missed a wild swipe at Fudadin and was leg before to bring Johnson to the crease at a time when Berbice were being pushed on the back foot in sweltering heat.
Ramoo bowled with good control and passed Johnson’s forward prod with a perfect off-break early in his spell as Berbice tightened the screws on the scoring. Johnson cut Royston Crandon handsomely for four and followed it up with a sparkling cover driven boundary off Steven Latcha.
Griffith reached his second fifty of the competition from 54 balls with five fours to post the Demerara 100 in the 22nd over and along with Johnson added 108 for the second wicket before Johnson was run out in a terrible mix-up with Griffith at 148-2 in the 31st over after the ball hit a patch of sand at short cover and changed course.
Griffith, miss-stumped by Anthony Bramble on 58 off Latcha, was bowled by the same bowler in the next over without addition to the score. Shiv Chanderpaul and Vishaul Singh, two of five left-handers in the top order, joined forces and a good size crowd watched as they both struggled to get the ball away before Chanderpaul, who faced 17 balls, was caught and bowled for seven by Ramoo to leave Demerara on 167-4 in the 39th over.
Former Berbice left-hander Gajanand Singh (14) was brilliantly caught by Foo, diving forward on the mid-wicket boundary as Demerara slipped to 192-5 in the 43rd over. Zaheer Mohamed was dropped at long-on by Richard Ramdeen off Ramoo and the ball went for four to bring up the 200 in the 45th over.
Mohamed (19) celebrated with a huge hit over the sightscreen two balls later before he skied Crandon for the Keeper to take the catch at 224-6 in 48th over.
Paul Wintz (1) fell in the same over at 229-7 before Vishaul Singh, who played an array of sweeps in his 42-ball 37 with two fours, edged Deonarine to short third man at 231-8 while Kellon Carmichael (2) fell in the same over. Stoll (3*) was miss-stumped before being dropped by Crandon off the last ball, but to pull Demerara back from 148-1, Berbice had ended the first half of the contest with the advantage.
Demerara picked three pacers since they felt the Berbicians were uncomfortable to that type of bowling and even on a flat track, teenage left-arm seamer Andre Stoll had Ramdeen (5) as he miscued an awkward pull high to mid-on at 5-1.
Fudadin whipped Stoll magnificently to the square-leg boundary in his next over and the vocal crowd, many of whom were generously supporting the sponsors’ product, were back to life after the early demise of Ramdeen. A slash by Deonarine (4) was taken at point as Wintz removed his former Berbice team mate and at 22-2 and with their premier batsman gone, the home fans were again silent despite the pulsating music from the sound system in between overs.
Devon Clements joined Fudadin who spanked Stoll behind point for four be he survived a confident caught behind appeal on four off Carmichael as the ball seemed to brush his forearm.
Clements stroked Carmichael majestically to the point boundary as he and Fudadin posted the 50 partnership in 71 balls.
Fudadin reached 50 with consecutive boundaries off Carmichael and celebrated with another in an over which cost 23 runs. Fudadin hit six fours from 52 balls in his 50.
Mohamed struck with the second ball of the 22nd over when Clements (26) walked across his wicket and was bowled behind his back at 101-3 to end the important 79-run partnership.
Crowd favourite Foo got going with a swept boundary off Johnson and then dumped Mohamed out of the ground before surviving an LBW appeal against Johnson on 18 at 138-3 in the 27th over.
A bullet-like square drive for four off Wintz by the explosive Foo was followed by three more scorching fours in the over which cost 18 and the fans were dancing in the stands.
Foo, who was scoring as fast at the DJ was interrupting the cricket with his imitation Jamaican accent, was then dismissed to end the 74-run partnership at 175-4 in the 33rd over but Crandon (32* from 31 balls) and Fudadin, who reached his ton from 104 balls with 10 fours, saw their team to victory.
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