U-15 CRICKET: Latif and Co. spur Demerara to title

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Reporting and Photography by Avenash Ramzan

A small total and basic fielding blunders worked against defending champions Berbice, who were dethroned by Demerara in the final of the Guyana Cricket Board’s Dave West Indian Imports and Exports Under-15 Inter-county 50-over competition on Saturday.

Playing in front a fair-sized crowd, made up of mostly enthusiastic parents, Demerara won by seven wickets, with as many as 33 overs to spare, after Berbice posted what turned out to be a woefully inadequate 72 all out in 40.4 overs.

The Berbicians were tormented by spin trio Riyad Latif, Krsna Singh and Zachary Jodah, whose combined figures were 25.5 overs, 10 maidens, 34 runs, seven wickets.

Spin trio! From left: Krsna Singh, Riyad Latif and Zachary Jodah

In weather conductive for cricket at the most iconic ground in Guyana, the Georgetown Cricket Club, Demerara won the toss and elected to field.

Rampertab Ramnauth, the only centurion of the competition, and fellow opener Christopher Deroop were going steady, adding 30 for the first wicket. However, Thaddeous Lovell’s dismissal of Ramnauth for 21 opened the floodgates as they slipped to 38-3.

After that it was over to the Demerara spinners to weave their magic. Leg-spinner Latif snared 4-29 off 10 overs to cop the Player-of-the-Match accolade, while off-spinner Singh took 2-4 off 6.4 overs.

Left-arm spinner Jodah kept the pressure from one end, bowling an astonishing 53 dot balls, picking up 1-1 from nine overs, eight of which were maidens. That single was scored off the fifth delivery he bowled, which meant he delivered 49 dot balls on the trot.

Player-of-the-Match Riyad Latif receives his trophy from President of the Guyana Cricket Board, Fizul Bacchus

That spell basically stalled Berbice’s progress, as Ravishkar Sobhai was the only other batsman into double-figures with 16. Extras were 18.

Demerara got an early scare when openers Jadon Campbell, who had scores of 35, 81 and 40 not out heading into the final, and Romeo Deonarine were dismissed in identical fashion, leg before to Bashkar Dhanai for three apiece, as they went to lunch at 26-2 from six overs.

Upon resumption, Alvin Mohabir was bowled by Salim Khan for eight at 48-3, but Mavindra Dindyal was flourishing at the other end, and in partnership with Jodah the target was achieved in exactly 17 overs.

The right-handed Dindyal stroked a free-flowing 37 not out (3x4s); Jodah finished on six not out. Demerara’s chase was made easier by the fact the Berbicians were not entirely polished in the field; dropped catches and misfields were a salient feature of their performance.

At the presentation ceremony, Ramnauth was voted Best Batsman of the tournament for his 215 runs in four innings. He had scores of 10, 147*, 37 and 21. His Berbice teammate Matthew Pottaya was named Best Bowler for his 12 wickets.

Sponsor Dave Narine presents the championship trophy to Demerara captain Alvin Mohabir

The tournament, sponsored for the fifth consecutive year by overseas-based Guyanese businessman Dave Narine, is being used by the Junior Selection Panel of the Guyana Cricket Board to formulate the Guyana team to play in the Regional Under-15 competition.

That team would also play in the upcoming Under-17 Inter-county competition.

Youth and Academy coach Julian Moore presents Berbice opener Rampertab Ramnauth with the Best Batsman trophy
Kavita Yadram of the Guyana Cricket Board presents Matthew Pottaya (12 wickets) with the Best Bowler trophy
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