A five-wicket haul by First-Class off-spinner Eon Hooper and an undefeated 66 from David Latchaya, who shared in an unbroken 58-run stand with National Keeper Anthony Bramble, give Lower Corentyne the ascendency when the first day of their fifth round GCB/CGI three-day Franchise League contest against Essequibo ended at Port Mourant in Berbice yesterday.
Kevin Boodie’s 57-ball and 66-minute 50 with seven fours was the only batsman to pass 18 as Essequibo slumped from 77-1 to lose their last nine wickets for 76 runs to be all out for 153.
Hooper, last season’s leading bowler with 44 wickets, captured 5-63 from 23 overs. Hooper, who opened the bowling, got support from Leg-spinner Shawn Perreira who had 3-34 for Upper Corentyne who were 190-3 when stumps were drawn with the home team enjoying a 37-run lead with seven wickets in hand.
Latchaya finished unbeaten on 66 with seven fours and a six and shared in an unfinished 58-run stand with Anthony Bramble was not out on 43 with four fours and two consecutive sixes off Anthony Adams who finished with two wickets.
Kandasammy Surujnarine (34) and Balchand Baldeo (28) give the hosts a solid foundation with a 45-run partnership before Baldeo who pounded three fours in 28-ball cameo, hit Kemo Paul to mid-off before Joshua Ramsammy (5) was LBW to left arm spinner Anthony Adams at 56-2 and by Tea Lower Corentyne were 62-2 from 11 overs.
After the break Surujnarine and Latchaya took the score to 122 before Surujnarine, who hit a carefully constructed 34 from 103 balls with three boundaries, was taken at leg-slip off Anthony Adams to break the 60-run stand but Bramble and Latchaya joined forces to take their team safely to the end of play yesterday.
Earlier, Essequibo won the toss and elected to bat in sweltering heat on good track and rough outfield and Kevin Boodie, the only batsmen with double century in senior Inter-County cricket, began with all guns and dominated a 68-run opening stand with teenager Kemo Paul, surprisingly asked to open the batting.
The 25-year-old right-hander, who played his only Regional 50-over for Guyana against CCC last year, hammered Clinton Pestano for consecutive boundaries in the first over before smashing Pestano for another boundary four overs later as Paul, one of three Essequibians selected for next week’s tri-nation T20 Independence Cup in Antigua, was contented to play second fiddle.
Boodie was in full cry and spanked Diaitri Cameron for a couple of boundaries in his first two overs when he replaced Pestano in the ninth over before Paul reached the ropes for the first time in 26 balls when hit Hooper for four.
After 12 overs Essequibo had galloped to 55 without loss, but once Boodie lofted Perreira to deep mid-wicket at 68-1 and Paul (18) was stumped off the leg-spinner, Essequibo had lost both of their openers in the space of nine runs as Perreira struck twice in quick succession to the delight of the handful of spectators.
Ricardo Adams, who could make his National Senior team debut in Antigua, joined Kemol Savory and with two centuries already in the tournament, clobbered Hooper for a four and a six but the off-spinner had the last laugh when Adams (10) edged him to the Keeper to leave the score on 92-3.
Essequibo lost four wickets for 10 runs as Hooper took three wickets and along David Latchaya, ripped through the middle order like a knife cutting butter in hot sun.
Kemol Savory (18) got going with three boundaries before he was caught behind off Hooper who had Anthony Adams (0) LBW and when Mark Williams was trapped in front to Latchaya for a duck, Essequibo had slumped to 102-6.
Chaitram Persaud and Vijai Surujpaul revived the innings by taking the score to 129 before Surujpaul (14) got one that bounced and was taken at short-leg off Hooper on the stroke of Lunch to end the promising 27-run stand.
After the interval Persaud was run out for 18 at 138-8, Newland Cadogan (8) was LBW to Hooper at 151-9 and Akenie Adams (8) was taken at mid-on as Perreira wrapped up the innings
Today is the second day and play is scheduled to commence at 09:30hrs. (Sean Devers)
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