Noble (90*) leads Achievers to Brian Ramphal U-19 title
Over the last decade, the Blairmont Community Centre has dominated junior cricket in the West Berbice area, but their streak was halted recently when a brilliant innings by Berbice junior player Collis Noble guided Achievers Cricket Club to a five-wicket victory in the final of the Berbice Cricket Board/Brian Ramphal Under-19 tournament.
Playing at the Cotton Tree Ground, Blairmont Blazers won the toss and elected to bat first. They reached 199 all out in 45.4 overs of the allotted 50 overs. Blazers were aided by an indifferent bowling display by Achievers, whose bowlers gifted 50 extras.
Despite the extras, runs were difficult to come with only Raashad Gafoor looking solid. The elegant opener carved six boundaries on his way to 57 before he was bowled by off-spinner Shemar Hailey.
Farouk Subhan (18), Shreenauth Ramnarine (13) and Anthony Sukhra (15) were the other batsmen to reach double-figures. Bowling for Achievers, off-spinner Arthur and Shelton Ramsay claimed two wickets each.
In reply, Achievers lost Odel Miller without scoring in the second over, but Noble, with assistance from Tulsieram Ramcharran, added 40 for the second wicket to put Achievers on course for the upset victory.
Noble paced his innings well, starting very slow before opening his arms as he grew in confidence. The right-hander was fortunate to be dropped on 67, but was instrumental in an unbroken 96-run stand with Omari Arthur, who made 29 with three sixes and one four.
Arthur, who was dropped on nought and 14, capitalised on the inexperienced Blairmont attack. Nickel Fraser supported with an aggressive 24, which included three boundaries and a massive six.
Raashad Gafoor returned with the ball to take 2-21 from eight overs, while skipper Marvon Prashad took 2-48 from nine overs.
BCB President Hilbert Foster disclosed that the tournament was historic as it was the first time that the board was arranging an Under-19 tournament for teams in the sub-association.
He hailed the performances of both teams and noted that he was very impressed with the talents on display who could make Berbice very proud in the future.
The proactive Foster praised the support of overseas-based Guyanese Brian Ramphal for his sponsorship of the tournament. He also hailed the President of the West Berbice Cricket Association, David Black, for organising the successful tournament.
The West Berbice Under-19 tournament is the first of four that would be organised at the Zone level before the start of a countywide tournament.