By Sean Devers
In sweltering heat on a slow track and heavy Everest outfield the National U-17 select
lost to Berbice by 70 runs but progressed to face defending Champions Demerara on a better net run rate in today’s GCB’s Hand-in-Hand U-19 Inter-County 50-over Final at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.
While Berbice made 155 all out and bowled out the National U-17s for 85, the U-17s, who like Berbice ended the four-team tournament with a win and a loss, were dismissed in 41.3 overs. If they were bowled in less than 40 overs Berbice would have advanced to the final.
With nine wickets down the last pair of Kelvin Omroa (4) Reyaz Khan (1*) survived 32 balls without scoring a run but surviving 40 was more important than making runs in the context of the situation.
Omrao was eventually bowled by Deon Sinclair in the 42nd over but by then it was the losers who were celebrating their place in the final. After the opening round was abandoned due to rain on Monday, Demerara beat Berbice and the U-17’s defeated Essequibo on Wednesday making yesterday’s final preliminary round a virtual semi-final.
Demerara’s win against Essequibo give them their second victory and automatic qualification to the final, scheduled to commence at 09:30hrs. Put in to bat, Berbice lost Veramootoo Senwasune for a duck with just nine runs on the board but a 42-run partnership between Kevin Sinclair and Adrian Sukwah pushed them to 51 before Sukwah was run out for 20.
Left-arm spinner Ashmead Nedd, who finished with 4-19 from 10 frugal overs, bowled Javid Karim for a duck four runs later before Nedd stuck again when he bowled Sasenarine Sukhoo (9) to leave Berbice, once a powerhouse at this level, on 69-4.
Sinclair was playing confidently but nobody was staying with him long enough to build a
meaningful partnership. Sinclair reached his 50 from 82 balls with three fours and a six but was removed by Pradesh Balkishun at 105-5.
Nedd got rid of Steve Deonarine (16) before number 10 batsman Sylus Tyndall counter-attacked with a cameo 22-ball 25 decorated with two fours and a six before he was bowled by Sachin Singh to end the innings.
When the U-17s began their chase needing 155 to win from 300 balls, Alex Algoo, who along with First-Class opener Bhaskar Yadram and Raymond Perez, were the only centurions in the tournament, was his usual pugnacious self.
The 16-year-old right hander followed up his well crafted 119 on Wednesday against Essequibo at Eve Leary, by square-driving pacer Tyndall for a couple of boundaries behind point. The usually free-scoring Sachin Singh, on the back of 52 on Wednesday when he added 156 with Algoo for the first wicket, was well short of his best form and went into his shell as he struggled to get the ball off the square.
While Algoo imperiously lofted Karim over extra cover for his third boundary Singh pushed and prodded and took 25 balls for his three runs before he was bowled by Karim at 23-1. Algoo seemed a bit unlucky to be adjudged LBW to Simpson after facing 27 balls in his 20 and from 29-2 only Kelvon Anderson (19) who was removed by Deon Sinclair reached double figures.
But Omroa and Khan defied all the Berbicians threw at them to get their side into today’s final.
Karam Arjpaul (3-9), Deon Sinclair (3-18) and Kevin Sinclair (2-12) all had impressive spells to bowl Berbice to a victory which, in the end, came an over too late.
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