The Guyana Cricket Board/Hand In Hand 2020 U1-9 Inter County Tournament got off to an exciting start today at the LBI ground, East Coast Demerara.
Demerara won the toss and decided to bat. However, the Essequibo bowlers presented a challenge to the Demerara batsmen, limiting them to an unexpected reasonable score of 162 for 8 off reduced allotment of overs to 38, to facilitate Essequibo’s travel.
Opening batsman Matthew Nandu stroke a consolidated 53, inclusive of 4 fours, in 147 minutes at the crease off of 97 balls. Number 3 batsman, Ushardeva Balgobin was the other major contributor with the bat, who in 89 minutes at the crease, slammed 45 off of 59 balls, in a knock which includes 4 fours and 2 sixes.
However, in the over prior to his dismissal, Balgobin was adjudged not out by the ruling umpire, on a controversial diving catch by Azim Mohamed about three feet inside the mid-wicket boundary. The only other batsman to reach double figures, was sensational youth national batsman Mavendra Dindyal who stroked an entertaining 27 off 37 balls in 52 minutes, including of 2 fours.
Fast bowler Jason Holder bowled impressively to finish with figures of 2 for 28 from 7 overs with one maiden, inclusive of national youth opener Sachin Singh for duck and Dwain Dick for 4. Wazim Mohamed was the other main wicket taker with 2 for 26 from 5 overs. Mohamed dismissed Andrew Samaroo and wicket keeper, Shamar Yearwood, for 6 and 5 respectively.
In reply, Essequibo struggled to make a resounding impact, scraping their way to 86 all out off 27.2 of their allotted 38 overs. Sheldon Charles batting at number 3, provided some initial resistance for the Essequibians with his 51 minutes knock of 25 off 33 balls. Nicko Vincent was the only other Essequibo batsman to reach double figures with, 12. Bowling for Demerara, Dwain Dick led the way with 3 for 15 from 7 overs, which included 2 maidens.
Chaitram Balgobin took 2 for 10 from 2 overs, while Man of the Match, Matthew Nandu returned figures of 2 for 21 from 5.2 overs, to add to his half-century. Richard Jhoda picked up a single wicket for 5 runs as Demerara won the match by 76 runs.
The second round will see Berbice competing with Essequibo on Friday (February 12) at the LBI ground from 08:45 hrs.