Story and photos by Sean Devers
Berbice last lost a female Inter-County 50-over title when Demerara beat them in 2013 and yesterday in a truncated match at Lusignan, their Captain and West Indies pacer Tremayne Smartt, with a Player-of-the Match performance, helped them extend their winning streak of titles to five with a 50-run victory over arch rivals Demerara in a match reduced to 32 overs due to rain.
A fifty run opening stand between National right-hander Melanie Henry, who batted through the entire innings in a cautiously constructed unbeaten 37, and Sheneta Grimmond who stroked an attractive 30 from 36 balls with a couple of boundaries led their cause.
A quick-fire 19 from West Indies ODI pacer Erva Giddings and a cameo 12 from Smartt led Berbice, without the West Indies pair of Shabika Gajnabi and Shemaine Campbell, to 131-3 when their overs expired.
Haseena Mohamed had 2-23 for the hosts who reached 81-8 in 24 overs with the stylish Mandy Mangru, who reached the boundary three times before she was left undefeated 17 short of a half-century because of a slit webbing on the bowling hand of left-arm spinner Kaysia Schultz and a cut finger on her right hand by opener Latoya Smith rendering them unable to bat.
When the final round game eventually commenced at 13:15hrs, Berbice elected to bat in sunny conditions on a slow track and heavy outfield. Henry and Grimmond saw the 50 posted, before Grimmond, who dominated the partnership with some lovely shots on both sides of the wicket, was run out in a mix-up with Henry.
Kanata Mentore (10) was smartly stumped by Loshanna Toussaint as off-spinner Mohamed struck at 73-2 before she had Smartt caught at long-off at 97-3 before some aggressive batting by Giddings, who struck 46 and took 5-5 (the best bowling in this tournament).
When Demerara began their reply, Smartt removed Loshanna Toussaint (3), Casey Charles (3) and Skipper Akaze Thompson (7) in the space of 10 runs as Demerara slipped to 25-3. The multitalented 18-year-old Cherry-Ann Fraser, who also represents Guyana in Volleyball, joined the pint-size Mangru and together carried to score to 53 before Fraser, who played in positive fashion, was lbw to Dian Prahald for 21 and nobody stayed with Mangru, the most technically correct of the batters, as spinner Sherika Campbell, the cousin of West Indies female player Shemaine Campbell picked the last three wickets to fall to hasten the demise of the
ladies from Demerara.
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