Demerara 228-9 against Berbice; Imlach (62), Permaul (4-47) the standouts
SUMMARY: Demerara 228-9 from 86.2 overs (Tevin Imlach 62, Christopher Barnwell 28, Leon Johnson 21; Veerasammy Permaul 4-47, Kevin Sinclair 2-30) vs Berbice
Wicketkeeper/batsman Tevin Imlach scored a half-century and experienced left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul was once again amongst the wickets as Demerara reached 228-9 against Berbice by stumps on day one of the Guyana Cricket Board’s Senior Inter-County Four-Day Championship on Saturday at the National Stadium, Providence.
The other first round game between Essequibo and the Select XI has been postponed after the Enmore Community Centre was deemed “not in a suitable condition for play” due to rainfall.
Berbice won the toss at Providence and opted to bowl first, and by the end of the day, on which 86.2 overs were bowled, that decision seemed the right one.
Permaul, leading Berbice in the absence of appointed skipper Shimron Hetmyer, who made himself unavailable, led the bowling effort with 4-47 off 27.2 overs, 10 of which were maidens.
Off-spinner Kevin Sinclair supported with 2-30, while Romario Shepherd, playing red ball cricket for the first time since 2019, picked up 1-29, Junior Sinclair 1-35 and Nial Smith 1-41.
Imlach, batting at number three, steadied Demerara’s innings after the top-order batsmen- openers Matthew Nandu (15) and Sachin Singh (9) and Akshaya Persaud (6) were dismissed cheaply to make it 61-3.
Skipper Leon Johnson fell for 21 at 92-4, before Imlach and Christopher Barnwell put together the best partnership of the innings, 57 for the fifth wicket.
From 149-4, Demerara slipped to 169-7 with Imlach (62 off 182 balls; 9x4s), Barnwell (28 off 71; 4x4s) and Ronaldo Ali-Mohamed (10) all falling in the space of 20 runs.
Richie Looknauth (19*) then added 40 for the eighth wicket with Ashmead Nedd (19) and 19 for the ninth wicket with Steven Sankar (13), the last two wickets picked up by Permaul.
When play resumes on Sunday, last-man Qumar Torrington will partner Looknauth.
Before the toss, the players were given words of encouragement from Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr., who lauded the Guyana Cricket Board for re-introducing the Inter-County competition after a break of nine years.
He urged the players to maximise on the opportunities being afforded to them, as they build a career in the sport.
Minister Ramson Jr. later performed the ceremonial bowl-off, bowling left-arm spin to Demerara opener Sachin Singh, who calmly stroked a good length delivery through the off-side despite the Berbice players urging the left-hander to go for a maximum.