Majestic Johnson leads Demerara’s resurgence; Berbice prevail on DLS
By Avenash Ramzan
Demerara rebounded in spectacular fashion on Wednesday and Berbice won under the Duckworth/Lewis/Stern (DLS) method to remain unbeaten in Round Two of the Guyana Cricket Board’s Senior Inter-county 50-over competition in the city.
Following a heavy first round defeat to Berbice at the GCC ground, Bourda, Demerara inflicted a 160-run thrashing on the GCB President’s XI at Everest, with a sublime century from the experienced Leon Johnson highlighting the win.
Over at ‘Bourda’, a match that was seemingly heading for an exciting climax ended prematurely, owing to bad light, with Berbice on 144-4 after 26 overs, chasing 227 against Essequibo.
When the umpires decided that it was not safe to continue play, Berbice were adjudged winners, since they were 26 runs ahead on the DLS calculations.
At Everest: Demerara defeat GCB President’s XI by 160 runs
SUMMARY: Demerara 316-5 from 50 overs (Leon Johnson 153, Christopher Barnwell 63, Tagenarine Chanderpaul 53, Sherfane Rutherford 26*; Suresh Dhanai 3-87) vs President’s XI 156 all out from 36 overs (Trevon Griffith 63; Steven Sankar 4-49, Ashmead Nedd 2-22).
Opting to bat first, Demerara started shakily, slipping to 32-2 by the 13th over, with Chandrapaul Hemraj bowled by Shamar Joseph for two and Tevin Imlach leg before to Suresh Dhanai for 10.
Johnson and Chanderpaul then proceeded to the repair the innings, the left-hander adding 133 for the third wicket.
Chanderpaul was bowled by spinner Trevon Griffith for 53 off 82 balls (5x4s) at 165-3 in the 36th over, but what followed was total carnage as Johnson and the hard-hitting Christopher Barnwell pounced on the bowlers in another century partnership.
The pair added 121 for the fourth wicket in just 12.2 overs, with the 35-year-old Johnson bringing up his first Inter-county 50-over century in the process.
Johnson, the former Test batsman and the country’s longest active national cricketer, having made his First-Class debut in February 2004, smashed 14 fours and eight sixes in a brutal 153 off 117 balls.
It was two hours and 10 minutes of both ruthlessness and elegance from the classy Georgetown Cricket Club batter, who was quick to pounce on anything marginally off target.
With Johnson playing with freedom, Barnwell didn’t need a second invitation to join the party, clearing the ropes on five occasions in a rapid 63 off 44 balls (3x4s). Sherfane Rutherford, on Inter-county debut, added the finishing touches, with an unbeaten 26 off 11 (1×4, 3x6s).
Suresh Dhanai picked up three wickets for the President’s XI, but was expensive, leaking 87 runs off his 10 overs.
President’s XI, in reply, folded for 156 to hand Demerara victory by 160 runs. Skipper Trevon Griffith topscored with 63 (1×4, 4x6s) as leg-spinner Steven Sankar took 4-49 and left-arm spinner Ashmead Nedd 2-22.
At GCC: Berbice defeat Essequibo by 26 runs (DLS method)
SUMMARY: Essequibo 226 all out from 49 overs (Quintin Sampson 85, Keemo Paul 46, Anthony Adams 30; Romario Shepherd 4-37, Kevin Sinclair 3-35, Veerasammy Permaul 2-37) vs Berbice 144-4 from 26 overs (Anthony Bramble 62, Romario Shepherd 30*; Garfield Phillips 2-16)
The match came to a premature end due to fading light, with Berbice 144-4 after 26 overs, chasing 227.
After the end of the 26th over at 16:18h, Essequibo captain opted for a seam option in Neiland Cadogan, but after the bowler overstepped on the first delivery of the 27th, Berbice batsman Jonathan Foo appeared to have signaled to the standing umpire about poor visibility.
Following deliberations among the standing umpires and the third umpire, the players were sent off, and at that point, Berbice were ahead by 26 runs.
An inspection occurred at 17:00h, following which play was officially called off with Foo not out on 16 off 30 and Romario Shepherd unbeaten on 30 off 19 (2x4s, 3x6s).
Berbice’s position represented a mini recovery after they slipped to 103-4 by the 22nd over with left-arm spinner Garfield Phillips removing the in-form Anthony Bramble for 62 off 53 (7x4s, 3x6s) and Shimron Hetmyer for nine off 15 (1×4).
Opener Rampertab Ramnauth (12) and Kevin Sinclair (10) were the other batsmen to be dismissed.
Essequibo had earlier collapsed to 27-4 by the seventh over with first match heroes Kemol Savory and Kevon Boodie both being dismissed for one by Shepherd and Nial Smith respectively.
It took a fighting 46 from 78 balls from Keemo Paul to keep the Berbice bowlers at bay, before Quintin Sampson and skipper Anthony Adams forged a seventh wicket partnership of 96.
Sampson was the aggressor, blasting eight sixes and two fours in 85 off 65 balls, while Adams played the anchor role with two fours and a six in 30 off 60.
Shepherd picked up 4-37, Sinclair 3-35 and Veerasammy Permaul 2-37.
The third round of the Inter-county will be played on Friday with Demerara playing Essequibo at Enmore and Berbice up against the President’s XI at Bourda. Both matches are slated to start at 09:00h.