Pulsating cricket anticipated on National Holiday
After two weekends of intense action the dust has finally settled and four teams remain standing going into Monday’s
semi-finals of the inaugural Universal DVD Club Berbice First Division Twenty/20 Cricket Competition at the Blairmount ground in West Berbice.
A noisy National holiday crowd is anticipated as the teams clash in the day’s double header for a place in next week’s Final and the return of West Indies Test pacer Brandon Bess for the home team should add to the excitement.
On what should be a sluggish track with assistance for the spinners, the lively 23-year-old Bess, who was with the HPC team in Barbados, will be keen to show how much his control has improved since playing the first of his 26 First-Class matches in 2008 as Blairmount face-off with Rose Hall Town Gizmos and Gadgets in the second semi from 13:30hrs.
Zone ‘A’ winners Memorex Bermine and zone ‘B’ runner-up Young Warriors Universal DVD Club will start the day’s action in the opening match from 09:00hrs and eyes will be on Bermine left-hander and former National under-19 Captain Eugene La Fleur who has scored the only century in the competition so far.
Admission is free and the umpires for the first match are Imran Moakan and Rafik Latiff while Zaheer Moakan and Sean Coonjah stand in the other game as plenty of fun and frolic for the entire family is expected all day long.
Rose Hall Town’s PR machinery works overtime promoting the successes of the Corentyne club and its players and after Monday’s contest, the tournament favourites could be boast of reaching another Berbice final, especially if Bess fails to strike early with the new ball.
National Skipper Assad Fudadin and West Indies ODI player Royston Crandon will spearhead the Rose Hall Town batting while Renwick Batson, the only batsman with two half centuries in the competition, discarded National wicketkeeper Delbert Hicks and Guyana Under-19 batsman Dominic Rikhi have also scored half-centuries in the competition.
National under-19 all-rounder Clinton Pestano and Berbice player Rajiv Ivan also gives the Region Five team plenty of batting fire-power. Hicks, who averaged 4.50 from four matches when he was given the chance to play in the 2009 Regional 50-over competition has been talking publically about his ambitions and seeing if action can speak louder than words, both behind and in-front the wicket on Monday will also add flavour to the semi-finals.
While Pestano, Batson and Fudadin should provide the pace bowling, Rose Hall’s strength could be their slow bowlers on a pitch spinners would love to take with them wherever they go to play.
Ivan has two four-wicket hauls, and should get spin support from Crandon, Eon Hooper Khemraj Mahadeo and Shawn Pereira.
Blairmount fans will be quick to remind Rose Hall Town that their team upset powerhouse Albion on the road to the ‘final four’ and playing in their own backyard Karamdat Bissoondial and Romesh Boodram, who produced the goods against Albion, will be keen to delight their home fans.
The Georgetown based former Guyana under-19 opener Chris Patandin could produce fireworks at the top of the order but in a team with no ‘big name’ batsmen, Andrew Jainauth, Nedesh Basdeo and Deveshwari Prashad are all capable at this level for Blairmount.
Spinners Nedesh Basdeo, Parmanand Ramdhan, Shabeer Baksh and Wagar Hassan along with pacers Deveshwari Prashad and Akram Rahaman will be relied on to support Bess.
In the opening game Memorex Bermine could be favoured against Young Warriors once their senior batsmen contribute although Berbice’s most attractive t20 opener, Richard Ramdeen, would be keen to return to form for Young Warriors ahead of January’s Caribbean t20 in Trinidad and Barbados.
Ramdeen, who put Berbice Cricket Board politics ahead of Country when like LaFleur, he made himself unavailable to play against Trinidad and Tobago at Bourda recently, has the ability to take the bowling apart on his day and if he can get support from the former national under-19 stroke-player Seon Hetmyer and big-hitting left-handed veteran Anil Beharry, Young Warriors could post a challenging total.
Balram Samaroo and the hard hitting Vedesh Singh can also produce with the bat for Young Warriors while teenagers Linden Austin and Kevin Ramdeen are also good prospects.
At a time when the art of producing prodigious turn is lost to most local off-spinners, Kevin Ramdeen is an exciting prospect and should enjoy the Blairmount track, while Austin and left arm spinners Beharry and Richard Ramdeen should also do well.
The Memorex Bermine batting will depend heavily the experienced Devon Clements, Eugene LaFleur, his younger brother and national youth player Joemal LaFluer, Keion De Jesus who has a half century under his belt and former Guyana Under-15 batsman Romario De Jonge. Wicketkeeper batsman Ishwar Singh who comes up against his ‘old team’ and Guyana off-spinner Stephen Latcha could also produce runs at this level for the New Amsterdam side.
Latcha, Clements, Joemal La Fleur, Andel De Jonge and Troy Mickle will provide the spin with support from Seamers Romario De Jonge and Julian Moore.
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