By Zaheer Mohamed
A place in the final is up for grabs when Essequibo take on Berbice in third and final preliminary round of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) senior Inter County 50-over tournament today at the Everest Cricket Club. Demerara have already assured themselves a final berth and their fixture against the National U-19 team at Bourda is of academic interest since the latter have lost their previous matches.
Berbice only managed 88 in their second round game against Demerara at Wales, while Essequibo scored 152 against the same opponent at the said venue, but the difference is Berbice batted second and Essequibo first; Demerara struggled chasing against Essequibo as well.
Essequibo wicketkeeper batsman Kevon Boodie became the first player to score a double century at this level when he achieved the feat at DCC in the second round against the National U-19 team who only recently copped Guyana’s first double at the regional level; they won the 3-day and 50-over format.
Another good showing by Boodie, who hails from the East Bank of Essequibo, can land him a place in the national team. Essequibo no doubt have a talented team despite missing fast bowler Ronsford Beaton (West Indies A) and Dillon Heyliger for some reason. Their top order has provided them with good starts so far with Norman Fredericks partnering Boodie.
Royan Fredericks and Ricardo Adams are capable batters, while their bowling have been admirably led by Anthony Adams and Ricardo.
Berbice can expect a tough battle and Narsingh Deonarine men will have to better their performance at Wales if they are to prevail. Consistency should be the key word for Kandasammy Surujnarine, Devon Clements, Anthony Bramble and Jonathan Foo. Seon Hetmyer is a talented player and there is no doubt in Deonarine ability. Veerasammy Permaul has only managed two wickets so far, nevertheless their bowling attack is a strong one with the likes of Gudakesh Motie Kanhai, Clements, Deonarine, Keon Joseph and Raun Johnson.
The in-from Trevon Griffith and Andrew Lyght Jnr are two dangerous opening batsmen and the U-19 will be wary of them. With Christopher Barnwell, Steven Jacobs, Robin Bacchus and Shemroy Barrington Demerara possess a decent middle order while all-rounder Paul Wintz, Raj Nanan and Jacobs are expected to spearhead their bowling.
Zaheer Mohamed, Amir Khan and Chanderpaul Hemraj missed the second round due to the flu virus and their place in the final 11 will depend on how fast they recover.
Essequibian Keemo Paul is the most consistent cricketer in the U-19 team and a lot will depend on him once again with both bat and ball. Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Shimron Hetymer, Ashkay Homraj and Balchan Baldeo are all talented players, but they must up their game since this is a higher level. Steven Sankar and Sharaz Ramcharran will spearhead their spin attack. Both matches get underway at 09:00 hrs.
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