GCB Senior Inter-County: Centuries from Bramble and Savory highlight opening round

– runs for Foo, Hetmyer, Boodie, Joseph, and Johnson By Brandon Corlette

Berbice and Essequibo recorded comprehensive wins in their respective matches in the opening round of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) senior inter-county 50-over tournament.
Berbice wicketkeeper-batsman Anthony Bramble slammed a brilliant 106 while Essequibo wicketkeeper- batsman Kemol Savory made a classy unbeaten 108.
Berbice defeated Demerara by 189 runs at Bourda, while Essequibo defeated GCB President’s XI by eight wickets at Everest.

Anthony Bramble celebrates his century

Bramble sends strong signal with century
In the big chase of 364, Demerara had a rocky start, with Chandrapaul Hemraj being removed for two by Romario Shepherd in the first over. Tevin Imlach, who was chasing a non-existent single, was run out for two. Tagenarine Chanderpaul and Leon Johnson then joined forces and the duo rebuilt the innings.
The duo added 85 runs for the third wicket. It was Gudakesh Motie, who motivated the men from the Ancient County when he pushed an arm ball wide to Chanderpaul, who ran past the delivery and was stumped by Bramble for 39. The young Chanderpaul, who is hoping for a Test debut later this year in Australia, showed his wide range of shots, and his innings included four boundaries and one six.
Johnson was very classy and positive in his approach, as he took Nial Smith to the cleaners, stroking him for four boundaries in one over. Veerasammy Permaul then removed Christopher Barnwell for 14, and Johnson was then trapped by Permaul for an elegant 51 from 47 balls, an innings inclusive of seven fours and one sweet six.

Jonathan Foo dancing down the track during his 71

Akshaya Persaud then rode his luck, after he was dropped by Shepherd. However, his partner Ronaldo Ali Mohamed, who was dropped by Bramble, gifted his wicket away to Kevin Sinclair, when he was caught at long-off. Wickets continued to fall for Demerara at regular intervals as Persaud was the lone man in the middle lower order to offer resistance with his 37. Permaul claimed 3-30 in 6.3 overs while Sinclair had 3-42 from eight overs.
Earlier, Berbice won the toss and opted to bat first after a delayed start. The match was reduced to 45 overs owing to early-morning showers. Bramble and Rampertab Ramnauth opened the innings for Berbice, and the duo took their chances while scoring runs at ease, adding 91 runs for the opening wicket.
Young Ramnauth looked promising, but he was the first one dismissed for 36 from 50 balls, after hitting four boundaries. He was trapped at the crease by Barnwell. Runs continued to flow, as West Indies batsman Shimron Hetmyer took centre stage. The vocal gathering, which included several Berbicians, enjoyed the delightful strokeplay from the dominant duo.
Bramble, who took the Demerara bowlers to the cleaners and marked Qumar Torrington as his target, ended his blistering innings after facing 86 balls. He made 106, after batting for 123 minutes, an innings laced with 14 fours and two sixes. Bramble had departed with Berbice motoring on 195-2 in 26.4 overs. He was trapped leg-before by Steven Sankar.
Hetmyer tonked three sixes and two fours surpassing his half-century from 37 balls. He eventually miscued one and was caught by Johnson off the bowling of Torrington at 230-3 after 31.1 overs.
The returning Jonathan Foo, who is fresh off a successful stint in the United States of America, displayed his experience. He also took a liking to Torrington, dancing down the track to the seam and smacking him over the off-sides. While Foo was showing his class, Shepherd was hitting the ball over Regent Street. The burly Shepherd struck four sixes and two fours in his 26-ball 40. Foo, who added the perfect finishing touches, made a compact 71 from 45 balls, an innings decorated with five fours and four sixes.
Sinclair, who made an unbeaten 15 from six balls, including a mighty six off Barnwell, took Berbice to 363-6 when their allotted 45 overs expired. Ali Mohamed had 3-66 in nine overs, on a day when the Demerara bowlers toiled.

Savory century propels Essequibo
Meanwhile, in the other fixture at Everest Cricket Club, Savory showed his class with an unbeaten 108 from 106 balls, as Essequibo chased successfully. The GCB President’s XI posted 237-8 in 50 overs, with Berbician seam-bowling all-rounder Shamar Joseph scoring a brisk unbeaten 67.
He was supported by Kwesi Mickle, who made a composed 40, and Suresh Dhani, who made 30. Antony Adams claimed 3-14 from 10 overs, while his brother, Ricardo Adams had 2-40 from 10 overs.
Essequibo, in reply, ended on 240-2, with Savory sealing the match with a boundary. His partner, Kevon Boodie missed out on a century, scoring 92. Keyron Fraser had 1-19 for the GCB President’s XI.
The tournament will continue on Wednesday with Berbice taking on Essequibo at GCC Bourda, and Demerara playing the GCB President’s XI at Everest. Both matches will commence at 9:00h.