Essequibo into Inter-county final after thrilling win over Demerara
SUMMARY: Essequibo 156 all out from 41.2 overs (Kemol Savory 66, Wasim Mohamed 22; Ronaldo Ali-Mohamed 3-28, Steven Sankar 3-43, Christopher Barnwell 2-23, Richie Looknauth 2-25) vs Demerara 146 all out from 31.1 overs (Akshaya Persaud 36, Leon Johnson 29, Tevin Imlach 28; Ronsford Beaton 4-38, Keemo Paul 4-50)
Backed by an animated band of supporters at the National Stadium, Essequibo pulled off an exciting 10-run win over Demerara in the final preliminary round match in the Guyana Cricket Board’s Inter-county 50-over competition on Sunday afternoon.
The thrilling victory has landed Essequibo a place in the final against Berbice on Tuesday, the day/night game starting at 14:00h at the same venue.
Led by a fine half-century from the in-form Kemol Savory, Essequibo mustered 156 all out in 41.2 overs, before the experienced pair Ronsford Beaton and Keemo Paul combined for eight wickets to dismiss Demerara for 146 in 31.1 overs.
After the final Demerara wicket fell, the Essequibo players set off in wild celebrations, much like their loyal supporters in the Green Stand.
Beaton rocked Demerara early, removing Tagenarine Chanderpaul off the third ball of the innings without a run on the board, and then dismissed Joshua Persaud, in for the injured Chandrapaul Hemraj, for 13 at 22-2.
Tevin Imlach (28) and Leon Johnson (29) repaired the innings with a 50-run partnership for the third wicket, before Paul made a double strike, removing both batsmen and Garfield Phillips adding the wicket of Christopher Barnwell (3) to make it 88-5.
Sherfane Rutherford and Akshaya Persaud then steadied the innings with a 37-run, sixth-wicket partnership, which was ended by Beaton, who removed the former for 18.
At 133-7, Demerara hopes rested heavily on the shoulders on Persaud, and that became even more profound when Ronaldo Ali-Mohamed (3) ‘shouldered arms’ to a straight ball from Paul.
Paul them made what turned out to be the decisive blow, trapping Persaud leg before for a top score of 36, although many felt the ball had struck the left-hander too high.
Beaton and Ricardo Adams then put the cap on a memorable win for the Essequibians, taking the last two wickets. Beaton, named Man-of-the-Match, took 4-38 off eight overs, and Paul 4-50 off 10.
Earlier, left-hander Savory followed up his century in the first round with a solid 66, which was the glue of the Essequibo innings.
Batting at number three, the wicketkeeper/batsman was last man out for 66 off 119 balls (1×4) as Essequibo recovered from 33-3 and later 62-5 to post what turned out to be a winning total.
Wazim Mohamed, on Inter-county debut, made 22 off 30 balls and featured in the biggest partnership of the innings with Savory, worth 48 for the sixth wicket.
Bowling for Demerara, Ali-Mohamed took 3-28, leg-spinner Steven Sankar 3-43, Barnwell 2-23 and Richie Looknauth 2-25.
The tournament will wrap up on Tuesday with the day/night final between Berbice and Essequibo at the National Stadium, Providence, starting at 14:00h.
The Inter-county is being used to select the Guyana Harpy Eagles squad to compete in the Cricket West Indies’ CG United Super50 Cup, set to bowl off on October 29 and run until November 19.