By Sean Devers
Demerara began the defence of their title with a commanding first-day showing yesterday against the President’s X1 at DCC in their opening round Igloo under-15 two-day Inter-County cricket contest in which they have already taken first innings points.
The President’s X1, who made a paltry 71 all out from 38 overs in their first innings, were hanging on for dear life in their second innings on 37-3 after the hosts had amassed 235-4 in their first innings when their 38 overs expired.
The President’s X1 still need 127 to avoid an innings defeat and a lot will depend on Skipper Stephon Wilson and Berbician Chandradat Veerasammy today.
Off-spinner Sagar Hathiramani took 5-11 from 13 overs to claim his second five-wicket haul at this level. He got support from left-arm spinner Ashmead Nedd (4-28 from 8.4) as only Robin Williams (14), Veerasammy (11) and Wilson (10) reached double figures.
Joshua Persaud then hit his second ton in three weeks, an accomplished 105 from 110 minutes, 95 balls with 15 fours and three sixes and shared in 103-run partnership with Wicketkeeper Bhaskar Yadram (56) for the second wicket and the exact amount with Alphius Bookie for the third wicket to help the defending champs to a lead of 164.
The President’s X1 won the toss and elected to bat in brilliant sunshine on an easy paced pitch and a slightly heavy outfield. Openers Anil Singh and Robin Williams, both from Lusignan on the East Coast of Demerara, took the score to 19 before Singh (9) fell to medium pacer Bhojnarine Singh.
A shower at 10:27hrs with the score on 28-1, sent the players scurrying off the field and when play resumed 42 minutes later, GNIC’s Christopher Campbell (8) had his stumps disturbed by Hathiramani at 32-2.
Hathiramani, who hails from the East Bank but plays for DCC at the club level, also removed Wilson (10) as the President’s X1 slipped to 43-3.
The left-handed Williams had looked promising and dumped left-arm spinner Ashmead Nedd over the mid-wicket boundary before he departed for 14.
In overcast conditions with a strong breeze blowing, Williams was bowled by Nedd, the son of former Guyana off-spinner and Demerara U-15 Coach Gavin Nedd, at 54-4 after the 50 was posted in 27 overs.
Khemchand Hardyal and Blairmont right-hander Chandradat Veerasammy, who looked very accomplished, took their team to Lunch at 57-4.
After the interval, a nice gathering of noisy spectators which included several Female parents, watched as 14-year-old Hathiramani, who had a helmet-trick last year against Essequibo when he finished with 5-7, dismantled the middle order.
He had Hardyal (7) caught at slip, Veerasammy, stupendously taken at mid-on by Nedd for 11 and Mark Ramsammy (2) caught and bowled, as the President’s X1 slumped from 64-4 to 69-7. Nedd then finished off the demolition job with three wickets in four balls.
He first had Essequibian Shivnarine Chattergoon, the son of former West Indies U-19 batsman Hemnarine Chattergoon and nephew of Ex-Test opener Sewnarine Chattergoon, smartly stumped by Persaud for two before getting rid of Danesh Kowlessar (0) and last man Junior Phillips (0) to wrap up the innings 26 minutes after Lunch.
When the home team began their reply they lost Paul Thomas for a duck when he had his stumps uprooted at 9-1 but Persaud and Yadram tore into the hapless bowling attack with Yadram playing an array of scintillating shots, no better than four pugnacious boundaries off successive balls off Campbell that reached the fence like bullets.
Yadram, dropped off Wilson on 43 at 98-1, was bowled by the same bowler at 112-2 after he had reached his half-century from 41 balls, but by then he and Persaud had put their team firmly in control with their three-figure partnership in conditions which remained English-like for the rest of the day.
After Yadram’s demise, Persaud assumed the lead role with several audacious shots and reached his second ton in three weeks following his 106 against East Coast in the U-15 Inter-Association 50-over competition. His maiden Inter-County hundred came from 99 minutes, 91 balls and was decorated with 15 fours and three sixes.
He eventually fell to Kowlessar at 215-3 after sharing in another century stand with Alphius Bookie who ended unbeaten on 41 with 10 fours. Kurt Lovell (11) fell off the last ball of the allotted 38 overs.
Kowlessar took 2-9 for the President’s X1 who survived the rest of the opening day after losing Williams for a first ball duck, Singh for three and Wilson who struck three fours in his 15 before falling on the stroke of close of play.
The rules of the competition states the each team bat for 38 overs or two and a half hours in their first innings before having their second innings also restricted by overs and time.
Play on the final day, today, is scheduled to commence at 09:30hrs.
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