By Sean Devers
It was an early afternoon for Berbice as they joined defending champions Demerara
in winner’s row after their opening round game in the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Inter-County Under-17 50-over cricket tournament against Essequibo ended in an emphatic eight-wicket win at Bourda yesterday for the teenagers from the Ancient County.
Led by an unfinished 59-run third wicket stand from 16-year-old Javed Karim and Skipper Kevin St Clair, Berbice reached 134-2 in 28.3 overs in reply to the 132 all out in 47 overs made by Essequibo.
Man-of-the-Match Karim stroked seven delightful boundaries in a fluent unbeaten 54 from 62 balls, while St Clair reached the boundary twice in his 48-ball 30 not out.
Kevin St Clair joined Karim after his unrelated name sake Junior St Clair, one of six players in the Berbice team with National youth experience, was bowled by Joel Fortune for 15 at 75-2 and Karim, who hails from the West Bank Berbice Village of Blairmount, played several enterprising shots to see their team to victory with 21.3 overs to spare.
Alex Algoo was trapped LBW to Chanderpaul Mohabir for an attractive 21 from 27 balls and decorated with four fours, after adding 40 for the first wicket Karim.
Playing in sultry conditions on a flat track and a fast outfield, the Berbice batsmen were rarely troubled by the bowlers although the burly National U-15 pacer Joshua Jones bowled with some pace.
Jones, one of three players with national youth cricket experience in the Essequibo side, only returned from Grenada early yesterday morning where he finished fourth in Discus and eighth in the Shot Put this year’s Junior Carifta games.
But the versatile athlete failed to make a breakthrough with the new ball as Berbice built a solid foundation to set up the easy win by taking their team to 40 without loss from eight overs by Lunch.
Earlier, Essequibo opted to bat and lost Bomesh Ramdahim (13) off the lively Sayaad Pirbakesh, who operated with a suspect action, at 23-1 in the eighth over.
Reon Venture (11) was then bowled by off spinner Kevin St Clair at 32-2 before National under-15 batsman Orlando Jailall (2) pulled Guyana U-15 left-arm spinner Kelvin Omrao, who bowled with excellent flight and control, to deep mid wicket at 43-3.
National U-15 batsman Kevin Christian (24 from 87 balls) and Trevor Collis (13) arrested the slide with a 28-run fourth wicket stand before Keith Simpson (2-29) removed both batsmen in the space of 15 runs as Essequibo slipped to 85-5.
Mohabir (11) drilled a ball from Kevlon Anderson (3-14) to mid-off four runs later before Quinton Sampson (17 from 16 balls with 2 fours) and Joel Fortune (13*) threw their bats with some lusty shots to add 28 runs for the ninth wicket.
The action continues tomorrow with Berbice facing the National U-15 team at Wales on the West Bank Demerara. Essequibo plays Demerara at Enterprise on the East Coast of Demerara in tomorrow’s other match.
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