Berbice Win Low-scoring Thriller

Date Published: 
Guyana Times
Rajiv Bisnauth

Pulling off a sensational last-gasp win from the clutches of defeat, a spirited Berbice snatched a four-run win over Demerara in the opening round in the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Inter-county one-day tournament on Tuesday.

After a forgettable batting display by their batsmen, the Berbicians pulled off a coup as they successfully defended a small target of 143. Arif Chan was the hero for Berbice as the off-spinner struck four crucial blows in the hosts’ chase. Chan, who later earned the man of the match award had Daniel Basdeo bowled off an inside edge as the last man dismissed to secure an incredible come-from-behind win for the visitors.

The mainstays of Demerara’s innings were Ramnarine Chatura, who made 42 from 88 balls and Tagenarine Chanderpaul, 40 from 118 balls. The pair showed resolute spirit and added 62 runs for the fifth wicket to ensure the impact of the early loss was minimized before being separated. Demerara were just 17 runs away from the win when both were removed.

The right-hander, Chatura, struck four fours and a six, while Chanderpaul, who was dropped on 28 hit four boundaries. However, that proved to be the only partnership of note in Demerara’s innings, as the other batsmen paid the price for being impatient.

The hard-hitting Brian Sattuar made a 23-ball 24 with four sixes before he was dismissed. After that Ronaldo Renee (0), Rudolph Singh (4) and Sherfane Rutherford (5) were removed in the space of 20 balls.

From a position of 121-5, Demerara were eventually bowled out for 138 in 46 overs, losing Chatura, Malcolm Hubbard (0), Kemol Savory (9), Steven Sankar (0) and Baldeo in the process. Sharaz Ramcharran (2-22), Balchand Baldeo (2-24) David Latchaya (1-9) and Parmanand Ramdhan (1-22) were the other successful bowlers for Berbice.

While the Demerara batsmen couldn’t get the measure of the Wales wicket, which offered some assistance for both the pacers and spinners throughout the match, the Berbicians suffered the same faith during their turn at the wicket.

The Demerara bowlers bowled a disciplined line and length and choked the Berbice batsmen with left-arm seamer Daniel Basdeo finishing with 3-34, while fellow pacer Sherfane Rutherford 2-22, spinners Steven Sankar 2-19 and Malcolm Hubbard 2-32 to rock the Berbice batting line-up. Kevin Paul also chipped in with a wicket,while conceding 29 runs.

Berbice lost the toss and were put in to bat, but had lost wickets regularly during their innings, which never really gathered much momentum. Berbice suffered an early setback as Martin Singh went for six in the first over, caught at the wicket off Kevin Paul.

They recovered somewhat from the early loss and fellow opener Balchan Baldeo joined hands with Shimron Hetmyer to put on a solid 45-run partnership for the second wicket, the only meaningful partnership in the innings. Having taken a couple of overs to settle down, the duo played with a lot of responsibility for 52 balls before Daniel Basdeo produced the desired breakthrough when he had Hetmyer caught at the wicket for 19.

Soon after Sherfane Rutherford accounted for Baldeo (26) and Sharaz Ramcharran (9). Spinners Malcolm Hubbard and Steven Sankar then tightened the noose by removing Hakeem Hinds (4), Ashkay Homraj (0) and Arif Chan (1), to leave the Berbicians reeling at 87-7.

Parmanand Ramdhan, who top scored with 33 (3x4s, 2x6s), showed some resistance at the bottom, sharing 27 runs with David Latchaya (20) before adding 10 and 20 runs respectively with Niall Smith (3) and Grisean Grant (2  not out), when the visitors’ innings folded in 39.1 overs.

Meanwhile, the President’s XI defeated Essequibo by 45 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis method. Set a revised target of 224 to win after the President’s XI had made 214 all out off 38 overs, Essequibo were bowled out for 179 in 35.3 overs.

Round two will be played today with Demerara facing the President’s XI at the Georgetown Cricket Club ground and Essequibo playing Berbice at the Enmore Community Centre ground.