Demerara successfully defend U-19 title after thrilling win over Berbice
Story and photos by Brandon Corlette
Absolute ecstasy for Demerara and agony, agony for Berbice. That was the feeling as Demerara clinched the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Hand-in-Hand Under-19 inter-county crown by a slim two-wicket margin at the La Bonne Intention (LBI) Ground.
Berbice were routed for 72 all out in 25 overs, with left-arm spinner Michael Pooran wreaking havoc. He ended with figures of 6-10 in 8.5 overs, including one maiden. In reply, Demerara ran into multiple roadblocks, but eventually achieved the target in 25.4 overs, ending on 77-8 in 25.4 overs.
Earlier, Demerara won the toss and asked Berbice to bat first on a slow turning surface. Berbice lost Rampertab Ramnauth for a duck when he was caught at the wicket off pacer Bryon Bowen at 2-1. Jonathan Rampersaud came and went early for one when he was removed by off-spinner Dwayne Dick.
The classy Marvan Prashad added 24 runs with Shamar Angel, but Demerara spinners ran through the Berbice line-up. Prashad once again wasted a promising start and was removed for a shot-filled 26 decorated with three fours, two of which came off successive Dick deliveries.
Prashad’s Blairmont Cricket Club team-mate, Seon Glasgow then scored 25, which included two maximums and one four. Only Prashad and Glasgow were able to cross double figures. Pooran, who was on a hat-trick at one stage, bagged 6-10 while Dick, who bowled with great control, had 3-19 in seven overs.
Demerara began their chase in fine style, with opener Ushardeva Balgobin hitting Rampersaud for a boundary. That first over bowled by Rampersaud was filled with drama, as he removed the big fish – Matthew Nandu for a golden duck, trapped leg-before. After Balgobin was removed for eight, the gifted Mavindra Dindyal and Alvin Mohabir added 40 runs together, scoring 19 runs each after surviving being dropped early on. At five, Dindyal was put down by the wicket-keeper Chanderpaul Govindan while Beharry spilled Mohabir on six.
Dindyal, after hitting two boundaries, played one shot too many and gifted his wicket away. The boys from the Ancient County kept the bowling tight as Demerara slumped from 55-3 to 67-8. It was a nail-biting finish as Demerara required seven runs with one wicket in hand.
Fast-bowler Bowen was the hero sealing the match with a six as Demerara defended their title. Despite the batsmen from both teams lacking application, the final proved to be a thrilling match and those friends and family members present enjoyed the battle. Rampersaud had 3-21 in seven overs while Deodat had 2-31 in 9.4 overs and Aaron Beharry claimed 2-15. Gourav Ramesh had 1-10 in seven overs as Berbice attacked with four spinners.
This tournament catered for cricketers who were eligible for the Under-19 level in 2020. The 2021 Under-19 inter-county tournament will be played later in the year.