By Sean Devers
The worrying trend of low scoring matches was again evident yesterday at Bourda as Demerara beat defending Champions Berbice by five-wickets as the 50-over finals of the Hand-in-Hand U-19 Inter-County tournament climaxed with another poor batting display.
Berbice, the four times three-day title holders, were bowled out in 38.3 overs for 115 runs after they opted to bat on a track which favoured the spinners and a slow outfield.
Only skipper Kelvon Anderson, who made 33 from 68 balls with a single boundary, Seon Glasgow with an unbeaten 38-ball 21 and Deonauth Persaud (14) reached double figures.
Sixteen year-old left arm spinner Daniel Mootoo continued to romp with players older than him and captured 4-32 from 9.3 overs to take the Man-of-the-Match Award.
West Indies U-19 left arm spinner, Ashmead Nedd had 2-20 from eight overs, while Joel Spooner continues to show why he is regarded as the best off-spinner in the tournament taking 2-21 from his 10 overs.
When Demerara began their reply, West Indies U-16 Captain Sachin Singh made a fairly successful return to the home side after being dropped for the lack of runs, with an attacking 43-ball 48 decorated six boundaries which included four sixes.
But only Alphius Bookie, with 30 from 48 balls with a couple of fours and a similar number of sixes and Skipper Ashmead Nedd unbeaten on 10, reached double figures as the host reached 116-5 to lift the title.
Left arm spinners Kelvin Umroa had 2-35 and Nigel Deodat took 2-19 in a losing effort.
The final began in sultry conditions and Berbice lost both of their openers before they had reached 20.
Alex Algoo (4) was removed by Spooner, who shared the new ball with the lively Qumar Torrington, who got rid of the in-form Junior Sinclair (7) to leave Berbice on 17-2.
Skipper Anderson is undoubtedly very talented but has struggled to get big scores in this year’s tournament, but he and Persaud took the score to 55 before Nedd, the son of former National off-spinner Garvin Nedd, removed him.
Just when Anderson, whose only fifty was made in the three-day format, seemed set for his second half century, he seemed a bit unlucky to be given LBW to Nedd at 64-4.
Mootoo, bowling in tandem with Spooner, reduced Berbice from 86-4 to 115 all out as their last six wickets tumbled for 29 runs.
The left handed Glasgow showed positive intent and used his feet to the spinners but in the end he ran out of partners.
When Demerara began their chase of the small target, Robin Williams pulled Anderson for four, while Singh hit pacer Leon Swamy for a couple of sixes forcing Anderson to turn to spin in the third over.
After a few dot balls, Williams (4) pulled a short ball from Umroa into the hands of the fielder on the deep mid-wicket boundary to leave the score on 21-1.
Singh continued to play aggressively and hit Umroa for two boundaries before dumping Sinclair back over his head for four after he was dropped at mid-off from a free hit.
Adrian Hinds again looked organised but with the score on 53 he got one from Umroa that ‘held up’ on the two-paced track and patted a catch to short cover after making seven.
Bookie got going when he swept Umroa for four and along with the free flowing Singh, who looked back in form, took the score to 70 before Singh played a loose drive off of Deodat and was taken at cover and by Lunch Demerara were 87-3.
Just after the interval Yeudister Persaud (1) was run out at 88-4 and when Bookie was trapped LBW at 106-5, the small crowd which included the raucous ‘Cook-up the Critic’ who has upgraded himself to ‘Cook-up the annalist’ were maybe thinking ‘too little too late’ as Adrian Samroo walked in to join his Skipper. In the end they saw their team to what turned out to be an easy victory.
At Presentation ceremony Anand Sanasie, speaking in his capacity as CEO of Cricket Guyana Inc, congratulated the winners and thanked the sponsors for their continued contribution to the youth cricket despite the recent ruling of the Court against the GCB Executives.
Sanasie also disclosed that the Guyana U-19 team which will participate in the Regional 50-over tournament will be called the Hand-in-Hand Guyana team.
Director and Fire Manager, Howard Cox said his Company was pleased to support youth development and committed Hand-in-Hand to continued support of this tournament.
Sinclair (Most Valuable Player with 374 runs,11 wickets & 4 dismissals), Sinclair- (Player with the most runs; 374), Kelvin Umroa (with 31 wickets), Mavendra Dindyal (Most Dismissals; 5), Mootoo – Man of the Match award Umroa (Most Wickets) and Sinclair (Most runs and best Keeper) were among the awardees.
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