By Sean Devers
Fifties from Man-of-the-Match Adrian Hinds and Alphius Bookie and a four-wicket haul for Daniel Mootoo spearheaded Demerara to an e
mphatic 96-run victory against Essequibo and place in tomorrow’s final when the preliminary round of the Hand-in-Hand 50-over U-19 Inter-County cricket tournament ended at Bourda yesterday.
Hinds hit a responsible 73 from 107 balls with four fours and a six and shared in 40-run third wicket stand with Alphius Bookie whose unbeaten 67 lasted 99 balls and included five boundaries which included three sixes.
A cameo 34 from 24 balls with three fours from Skipper Ashmead Nedd also helped Demerara to 223-5 from 50 overs.
Elian Whyte was the most successful bowler with 2-56 but was also the most expensive, while off-spinner Amit Persaud, who opened the bowling also leaked runs; finishing with 1-44 for Essequibo who made 127 from 37 overs in reply.
The 17-year-old Lance Roberts top scored with an unbeaten 53 from 47 balls decorated three fours and two sixes, but only Amir Singh (22) and Kevin Christian (18) reached
double figures as left-arm spinner Daniel Mootoo (4-18) and off-spinner Joel Spooner (2-27) did the damage for Demerara.
Demerara, who dropped the out-of-form Windies U-16 Captain Sachin Singh, elected to bat in sunny conditions on a flat track and slow outfield and Mahesh Ramnarine made to breakthrough in the eighth over with the score on 29 when he bowled Robin Williams for 10 after he had deposited Persaud for six.
The left-handed Hinds, whose extra-cover driving was a delight to watch, was joined by Yeudister Persaud and they carried the score to 50 in the 13th over before Persaud (9) was bowled by off-spinner Lance Roberts at 57-2 in the 15th over.
Hinds played fluently and favoured the drives through cover and the sweep, while Bookie began in aggressive fashion; lofting Persaud for six and dumping Roberts back over his head onto the sightscreen.
The third wicket partnership flourished with both batsmen looking comfortable despite not finding the
gaps and running between the wickets hard enough.
The 100 was posted in the 27th over and Hinds, who reached his 50 from 80 balls with three boundaries, stroked Persaud for four before clobbering him on the roof of the Rohan Kanhai stand next ball.
He then got greedy and was trapped LBW in the same over to leave the home team 135-3.
Boodie launched into Roberts and deposited the off-spinner for four before he lofted Persaud effortlessly over the ropes as he dominated the fourth wicket stand with Zachery Jodah who tried to hit the ball too hard and had trouble finding the gaps.
With the score on 175, Jodah yielded the pressure of ‘dot balls’ and was bowled by Whyte for nine.
Bookie hit Jeremiah Scott over long-off for a flat six and pulled a chest high full toss from Amos Sarwan for four before reaching his half-century from 73 balls with three sixes and two fours.
Nedd was in aggressive mode and smashed Scott brutally past extra cover like a bullet boundary before swatting Adrian Ramikpaul to the mid-wicket boundary as he dominated a 46-run st
and with Bookie before hitting Whyte to long-off in the penultimate over leaving Joel Spooner (1) unbeaten with Bookie.
Essequibo began their hunt in horrendous fashion losing the in-form Orlando Jailall; run out for a duck and Scott (0), who pulled a short ball from Qumar Torrington, who bowled with plenty of pace, high to mid-off as two wickets fell with just a single on the board.
Christian and Amir Singh, who hammered left-arm pacer Garfield Benjamin back past his ankles for four, added 49 for the third wicket before Singh hit Spooner to mid-off at 50-3.
Mootoo removed Bhumeshwar Ramkisoon and Elian Whyte for ducks as two wickets tumbled at 60 and it was soon 78-8 when Mootoo struck twice when he got rid of Mahesh Ramkisoon (8) and had Sarwan (1) as Roberts was fast running out of partners.
Persaud hung around a while with Roberts who was not afraid to use his feet to the spinners and drive down the ground or over the top.
But when Persaud (1) was bowled by Pradesh Balikisoon at 100-9, Roberts, of Amerindian decent and hails from Pomeroon, was in danger of being left stranded before reaching his fifty.
But last man Adrian Ranikpaul (3) stayed with him until left-arm spinner Nedd dismissed him to end the contest.
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