The Area ‘H’ Ground in Guyana’s smallest Township came alive on Sunday last when dozens of residents from communities based in the Berbice River turned up to witness the finals of the 2nd annual Berbice Cricket Board/Berbice River Area T20 tournament.
Last year’s runner-up Sand Hills Friendship easily defeated Ebini by 75 runs to lift the 2019 championship. Sandhills won the toss and elected to bat, they reached 148 for 8 from their 20 overs, recovering from a shaky position of 3 for 33 in the fifth over.
They lost Byron Lindee 06, Michael Caple 19 and Daniel Leacock 01, medium pacer V. Totoram producing a penetrating opening spell of 4-1-23-3. The eventual champions middle order batted well with Glendon Fedricks 28, W. Caplie 23, Joshua Leacock 22 and Brian King 21 not out combining well to post a defendable total for their team.
Leacock and King added a crucial 43 for the 5th wicket. The best bowlers for Sandhills were Peter Grant 3 for 20, Vijai Totoram 3 for 23 and M.Leacock 2 for 26. Needing to score 149 off 120 balls to lift the BCB title, Ebini were never allowed to score freely as Sandhills Friendship bowled a tight line and fielded superbly.
Opening fast bowler Jason Leacock and B. King restricted the score to 33 for 2 in the 11th over. Sandhills was eventually dismissed for 73 in 17.3 overs. Skipper Ian Lyte 20, D. Leacock 17 and Vijai Totaram 13 were the only batsmen to reach double figures.
Daniel Leacock 2 for 10, Ryan DeNobrega 2 for 12, B. King 2 for 14, J.Leacock 2 for 17 were the champions best bowlers. Joshua Leacock was named Man-of-the-Finals and received a trophy and small water pitcher.
BCB President Hilbert Foster praised the positive atmosphere that the finals was played in and stated that he was very impressed with the high level of talent on display. The BCB boss brought the entire delegation of players, clubs official and supporters from the riverain communities up to date on the current state of Berbice cricket.
He also shared plans for the future and areas of assistance that clubs have benefitted from the BCB while expressing disappointment that a club in the area, did not play in the tournament, allegedly on the advice of a cricket official who has a history of not supporting his administration.
Foster told the visitors that he has no interest in cricket politics but rather in the overall development of the game and making sure that every talented player is given the opportunity to develop.
Representatives of the clubs stated their displeasure of persons who have no linkage to their area, representing them at the BCB levels and vowed to stop this practice.The winning team and runner-up both received a cash prizes and trophies.
The BCB also donated 5 and 3 gallon water coolers and a box of balls each to the two teams. Foster also handed over anti-suicide posters, youth information booklets, exercise books and a large quantity of educational materials including pens, pencils and sharpeners to the clubs on behalf of the Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club, MS. The BCB would host both teams on November 23 next in a special match at the Albion Ground as part of its effort to assist in the development of the game in the riverain area.
The tournament was sponsored by a West Berbice businessman who has several businesses in the Berbice River area. The completion of the tournament fulfills the commitment of the active Berbice Cricket Board to host the game in all five Sub-Associations in Berbice-Berbice River, Upper Corentyne, Lower Corentyne, West Berbice and New Amsterdam/Canje.
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