Rain denies Independence victory

…match ends in no result
…semi-final to be replayed on Sunday

Action continued in the West Demerara Cricket Board’s 50-over competition in semi-final two at Joe Vieira Park, which saw the in-form Independence Sports Club (ISC) do battle in a rain-hit thriller that saved Zeeburg from defeat.
Owing to inclement weather, the match commenced with each team having to face 45 overs. ISC won the toss and elected to bat first on the damp pitch as they intended to post a commanding total as they did not want a reoccurrence of semi-final one. Batting on the damp track, Independence were skittled out for 188 in 33.2 overs, as the bowlers from Zeeburg were just too good. Despite not batting their full quota of overs, Independence lost quick wickets at regular intervals to peg them back from passing the 200 mark. The pressure was then left on Vivian Buckles, who scored an elegant 54, which included two fours and five maximums; Javon Hector, who supported with 32 (2x4s 3x6s) and Ceenauth Bisessar, who chipped in with a quick-fire 30 that included three maximums. Bowling for Zeeburg were Malcolm Hubbard, who had figures of 5-45 off 8 overs, and Yutesh Dhanpaul with 2-33 off his eight allotted overs.
As play was about to resume, the rain had other plans, reducing the 45 overs per side to 30 overs with Zeeburg having to chase 127 runs for victory via the Duckworth-Lewis method. The Zeeburg batsmen faced an uphill task as they hit the field; despite needing 127 runs off 180 balls, the team had to deal with the fact that the pitch was extremely damp, thus making harder to bat as the ball would stick to the pitch rather than carry on.
In their chase, Zeeburg lost wickets at key intervals as they struggled to hold their innings together – the pitch was definitely unplayable. Eventually, Zeeburg were saved by the rain as they were left tottering on 77-6 off of 12 overs. Scoring with the bat were Hubbard with 21 (2x4s 2x6s); Cornelius Raising 27 (2x4s 2x6s) and Dhanpaul, who remained unbeaten on 21* (1×4 2x6s). Bowling for Independence Sports Club were Mahendra Dhanpaul with figures of 2-26 off 6, Jagnarine Etwaroo 2-23 off 4 and Arshad Azim 2-10 off 1.
With the rain forcing a no-result in semi-final two, the match will be replayed at the same venue on Sunday, while the final will be played on February 3, 2019, at a venue to be announced at a later date.