By Sean Devers in Port Mourant
A 62-run partnership between Derrick Narine (54) and Nandan Polisetty (33) led the
United States of America Cricket Academy (USACA) U-18s to an exciting 24-run win over the Berbice U-18 side in the agriculture setting of the Port Mourant ground in Corentyne Berbice yesterday.
Narine, who hails from DeEdward Village in West Berbice and is one of four Guyanese in USA line-up, stroked five fours from 52 balls to spur the USA Combination to 188 all out in 44.5 overs.
Daniel Samaroo (4-31) and Asif Ali (3-31) did the damage with the ball for Berbice who responded with 165 all out in 43.5 overs. Only Joel Seetram (40) and Retesh Umroa (21) offered resistance to pacer Jamiel Jackman, who bowled with lively pace, India-born left-arm spinner Jash Patel and Sahil Patel each picked up two wickets for the winners.
In hazy sunshine and with a strong breeze blowing across the large ground, the USA under-18 side won the toss and opted to bat on a slightly rough outfield with a few bald patches.
Gauranshu Sharma danced into off-spinner Kevin Sinclair, who opened the bowling, and
majestically stroked him down the ground for four and along with Sagar Patel, who worked the ball into the gaps and drove the pacers confidently on a track with some early life, provided a firm foundation for their team.
Sinclair trapped Patel (11) as he played back to a quicker one in the 10th over with the score on 39-1.
Kushal Ganji joined Sharma and again demonstrated an on-side bias as he used his feet and sweetly on-drove Sinclair for four before clipping him neatly off his legs to the square-leg boundary next ball, to post the 50 in the 12th over as the partnership flourished.
A couple of goats wandered onto the field but showed no interest in the cricket before Joel Seetaram trapped Ganji (10) in front at 55-2 before Ali exploited Sharma’s penchant for the on-drive when the right-hander, who made 20, hit a catch to short mid-wicket without addition to the score.
In a Village which produced seven of the 17 Test Cricketers from Berbice, including the legendary Rohan Kanhai, Basil Butcher and Alvin Kallicharran, a handful of spectators, watched as Neil Targare (7) was run out at 62-4 as the lads from Guyana’s second largest County tightened the screws on the North Americans as the sun returned in all its glory.
Narine got going with consecutive boundaries off Ali, but Jash Patel (1) was caught behind off Ali, who also removed Chetram Persaud (7) in quick succession as the USA team slipped to 82-6.
The left-handed Narine tucked into the bowlers with increasing relish and played shots all round the ground. Two thumping pulls off Josha Harrichand off successive balls, reached the mid-wicket boundary like shots from a gun.
Narine found an able aid in Polisetty, who also grew in confidence the longer he batted and the pair put together 62 for the seventh wicket before Narine was taken at backward square off Samaroo who also sent back Polisetty (33) before he polished off the tail with his crafty off-spin.
When Berbice, without West Indies U-19 batsman Shemron Hetymer, began their reply, Jackman, watched by his grandfather, former Guyana wicket-Keeper and Ex Corriverton Mayor Sidney Jackman got rid of Adrian Sukhwa for a duck with nine runs on the board.
Umroa, who hit two fours in a fighting 21, offered resistance before he was removed by Patel at 42-3 and the Berbice colts never recovered as the visitors kept shackles on the batsmen with a succession of maidens although Seetram clobbered a cameo 47-ball 40 with three fours towards the end in a losing cause.
Meanwhile, at Enmore in a game reduced to 35 overs, the USA under-15s followed up their victory over West Demerara at Wales on Sunday, with an 18-run victory yesterday. The USA U-15s made 149 all out with Sanjay Stanley (31) and Daoud Mohamed (26) being the principle scorers.
East Coast U-15 replied with 131 all out with Sautosh Reddy, who picked up the first three wickets, and Humza Khan, picking up three wickets each.
The under-13 encounter between the USA and GCC teams which was set for Bourda was washed out.
Today is a rest day while the competition continues tomorrow with the USA U-18s playing the National U-17 team at Providence, their U-15s facing the Berbice U-15s at Everest and the USA U-13s opposing GYO U-13s at GYO.
USACA Coach Ricardo Powell, the 36-year-old who two Tests and 109 ODIs for the West Indies between 1999 and 2005, said he felt this tour to Guyana would benefit his youngsters tremendously, adding that more such tours are needed if USA cricket is to improve.
The right hander, who played for his native Jamaica and also Trinidad & Tobago where he lived before migrating to the USA, said that if there were proper cricketing facilities like those for Basketball and Baseball in the ‘States’ and if the youths could have practiced their craft at three day per week the overall standard of cricket in the US would be much higher than it is at present.
The Jamaican said his team is eagerly looking forward to playing at the Guyana National Stadium tomorrow.
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