By Sean Devers
Three-time Champions GCC beat Police by 15 runs in yesterday’s the NBS 40-overs second division semi-final at Bourda to advance to the final against the winner of two-time champions DCC and UG after defending champions Transport SC failed to reach the semis in the 7th edition of the tournament run by the GCA.
Police won the toss and asked GCC to bat in sweltering heat on slow track and sluggish outfield and were led by a blistering 12-ball unbeaten 47 from Windies U-19 all-rounder Renaldo Ali- Mohammed who smashed six sixes and a four in his explosive innings batting at number X1 due to a training season for the Academy players at Track & Field Stadium at Leonora yesterday morning.
Gavin Singh (41), Timothy McCalmont (32), Marlon Persaud (19) and Bernard Bailey (17) all passed 15 but failed to go on before Ali-Mohammed and U-13 batsman Zachari Jodah (2*) added 47 from the last 12 balls to lift GCC to 210-9 off 40 overs.
Eon Rodrigues (3-36), Hemchand Persaud (2-24) and Keston Hardcourt (2-34) bowled well for the Cops who were bowled in 39.4 overs for 194. Shamar Kendal reached the boundary five times and cleared it once in his 54-ball 62 and along with Kemol Savory, who struggled to score freely in his 59-ball 42; the two adding 115 for the sixth wicket but only Andrew Lyght (24) and Eon Rodrigues (17) reached double figures as off-spinner Singh (2-14), Bailey (3-28) and Stephon Wilson (2-28) bowled GCC to victory.
When Police began their reply, the nippy Bailey removed both openers with score on 31. Lyght, intent on scoring as quickly as possible was sent packing and without addition to the score Regional Rodrigues (4) had his stumps knocked out.
This was after Andrew Lyght Jr hit Singh for two fours and clobbered Ali Mohammed for a six and a four after a verbal confrontation between the two when Ali-Mohammed peppered him with a few short balls.
It was soon 44-4 when Singh, who opened the bowling, removed Kyle Micheal (4) and Pernell London (1) in the space of two runs before Bailey had Jason Heyliger for a duck and at 45-5 it seemed the contest was all over bar the shouting.
Kendell and Savory joined forces in ‘operation rebuild’; Savory was content to play second fiddle to the pugnacious Kendell who played some delightful shots and reached his 50 from 46 balls with four fours and a six while Savory was kept in shackles but remained with Kendell as the partnership began to flourish.
But when Kendall hit a tame cut to point, Stephon Willison had broken the frustrating stand at 155-6. And when Savory, with 41 to get from 45 balls lost his head and his wicket, missing an irresponsible reverse scoop at 163-7, all hope was lost although Eon Rodrigues offered token resistance before he was run out for 17 and Ali-Mohammed bowled Hardcourt (6) to insure the Cops did not escape.
Earlier, Eon Rodrigues picked up the first three wickets as GCC slipped to 31-3 and when Marlon Persaud departed at 48-4 the hosts were on the ropes. However, Gavin Singh and Chetram Persaud (13) took the score to 102 when Singh edged Hemchand Persuad to the Keeper.
Hardcourt had two quick wickets while London got rid of McCalmont and GCC had slipped to 158-8. When Wilson (14) was run out at 164-9, Ali-Mohammed walked to the crease with 12 balls left and smashed two sixes off Rodrigues before dumping London for four sixes and a four in the last over which cost 31 runs. The second semi-final will be played on a date to be known shortly.
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