By Sean Devers
Defending Champions Essequibo made an auspicious start to their title defence yesterday at Bourda when they crushed Georgetown by 122 runs in one of four opening round of the CGI’sSBF Petroleum Jaguars 50-over League.
On a slow track and fairly fast outfield, the Franchise from Guyana’s largest County batted first in sunny conditions which soon became overcast and led by Kemol Savory’s wonderfully compiled 81 from 112 balls with six fours and two sixes, reached 221-9 from 50-overs.
Wicket-Keeper Savory shared in a couple of good partnerships; adding 86 with man-of-the-match Ronsford Beaton who made 26 with three sixes and a four and 42 with Parmesh Parsotan (17).
Joshua Jones, undefeated on 17 with three boundaries and Akinie Adams, unbeaten on 13 put together 33 in an unfinished last wicket stand to see their team past 200. Pacer Qumar Torrington had 3-64 but at an economy rate of 6.4 while Steve Jacobs, who opened the bowling with his off-spin, had 2-21 in a frugal 10-over spell.
Left-arm spinner Ashmead Nedd also kept the shackles on the batsmen with 2-20 from 10 while medium pacer Chris Barnwell (0-50 from 8 overs) and leg-spinner Steven (0-23 from 2 overs) conceded 73 runs from their combined 10 overs.
Set 222 to win, the City side fell from an embarrassing 99 all out in 26 overs despite token resistance from Joshua Persaud (26), Jacobs (24) and a run-a-ball 23 from National Captain, Leon Johnson (23).
The 27-year-old Beaton, who has played two ODIs for the West Indies returned to competitive cricket with an incisive spell of hostile fast bowling to finish with 5-15. He got support from left –arm spinners Akinie Adams and Anthony Adams, who had 2-28 and 2-26 respectively.
GT, with Test batsman Johnson, Regional T20 players Jacobs, Chris Barnwell and Paul Wintz in their team which also included West Indies U-19 pair Ashmead Nedd and Persaud, slumped to 15-4 and never recovered.
The lively Beaton bowled Robin Bacchus for a duck at 7-1, had Raymond Perez (6) at 13-2 removed Winston Forrester (4) at 14-3 and Barnwell at was taken by Parsotanat short mid-wicket at 15-4.
Johnson, on the back of an unbeaten double century and an undefeated ton in his last two innings for GCC at First Division level, the left-hander launched into Anthony Adams and deposited him for consecutive sixes over mid-wicket but cut at one too close to him and was taken at point as Akinie Adams struck at 62-5.
Persaud was next to go at 72-6 when he edged the Akinie to Savory behind the stumps. It was soon 76-7 when Anthony Adams had Sankar LBW for a duck and 77-8 when Wintz (0) was LBW to Anthony Adams and when Nedd (0) was run out it was 88-9.
Jacobs, who represented the Tallawahs in this season’s CPL, hit Akinie for a couple of sixes before Beaton retuned and had him caught down the leg-side by Savory as the defending registered an emphatic victory.
Tomorrow, Essequibo oppose Upper Corentyne at Everest, GT face West Demerara at Tuschen, East Bank battle West Berbice at Bush Lot and L/Corentyne come up against East Coast at Enmore.
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