Playing Infront of a massive and colourful crowd at the No72 Cut and Load Ground, Dukestown Cricket Club defeated No72 All Stars CC by three wickets with two legal balls remaining to lift the Upper Corentyne title of the Berbice wide Berbice Cricket Board/ Let’s Bet Sports 100 balls tournament. The Let’s Bet Sports Upper Corentyne title is the first BCB title for Dukestown in its short history. Earlier in the year, they lost in the finals of the RHTYSC/ GNNL 20/20 tournament to the same team, they defeated on Sunday last.
No72 All Stars won the toss and elected to take first strike against a Dukestown bowling attack which included only one spinner. The Dukestown fast bowling unit of Jermaine Reid, Eroll Byass, Wayne Garnett and Clavern Beresford never allowed the No72 All Stars batsmen to score freely and also fielded brilliantly to restrict the scoring against batsmen who were unable to rotate the strike.
K. Chatterpaul was bowled for nought by Beresford in the second over at 5 for one. S. Singh 30 and A. Chatterpaul 15 added 48 for the second wicket but it took ten overs. Singh was trapped LBW by the impressive Eroll Byass and the rest of the batting failed to deal with the pace attack. Byass bowling fast and straight claimed the remarkable figures of five wickets for nine runs from three overs as the home village team were bowled out for 86. Byass took the wickets of Vishal Hemchand, Joshua Hemchand and Parmanand Laljit from the last four balls of the innings.
In reply, Dukestown lost Clavern Beresford in the second over when he was caught at long off for 02 off the bowling of S. Singh. Opener Nolan Richards batted well but was forced to retire with a groin injury. No72 All Star bowling attack dismissed Eroll Byass 08, Kevin Clarke 10, Akeem Bowling 08, Jermaine Reid 05, Wayne Amsterdam 03 and Budhram Sukhdeo to have Dukestown struggling at 72 for 6 at the end of the 14th over.
The injured Richards returned to the crease with his team requiring 15 runs from sixteen balls. With supporters of both teams on their feet, Richards struck the last ball of the 15th over for a boundary to reduce the required runs to seven from the final eight balls over. No72 All Stars had the opportunity to dismiss Richards off the fourth ball of the final over but A. Singh floored the simple chance on the midwicket boundary, allowing the batsmen to take two crucial runs. With tension mounting, a clearly injured Richards then smashed A. Chatterpaul back over his head for a six to send his team supporters into wild celebration.
Richards ended on an unbeaten 40, while his captain Clarence Beresford was on two not out. Off spinners P. Chatterpaul and A. Hemchand took two wickets apiece for 13 and 17 runs respectively for No72 All Stars.
BCB President Hilbert Foster and Let’s Bet Sports Manager Mr. Lee both expressed their congratulations to both teams for providing the large crowd with an exciting final. Foster, who announced to loud applause that he would be seeking a second term, stated that the BCB has over the last two years invested heavily in the Upper Corentyne area. Teams in the area have been involved in five tournaments specially organised for the area by the BCB.
Dukestown have joined D’ Edwards and Rose Hall Canje for the final stage of the Let’s Bet Sports tournament, where the four inter zone champions would play each other for the overall Berbice Championship. Eroll Byass was named Man of the Finals, while the Champions and Runner Up received a financial prize and trophy each.
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