By Michelangelo Jacobus
BERBICE booked their spot in the final of the Hand-in-Hand U-19 50-Over Inter-County tournament by defeating a spirited Select U-17 side by 56 runs at the Everest ground, despite a brilliant all-round performance from Sarwan Chaitnarine who made a half-century and grabbed a 5-wicket haul.
On a day blessed with brilliant sunshine, the Select U-17 won the toss and sent in Berbice to bat.
Openers Alex Algoo and Junior Sinclair were rock solid, sharing a century partnership to give their team the ideal foundation before Sinclair fell for 70 from 91 deliveries (4×4, 6×3), lbw off the bowling of Chaitnarine.
Algoo soon followed, the second victim of Chaitnarine, for 73 from 84 deliveries (4×5, 6×4). From there on, the rest of Berbice batsmen struggled to string together partnerships and limped to 250-9 from their 50 overs as Chaitnarine struck at regular intervals and was well backed up by Chandrapaul Ramraj.
The only other batsmen to produce any runs were Garfield Benjamin who struck 32 before he was bowled by Chaitnarine while Davesh Persaud made 24 before falling to Ramraj.
Chaitnarine ended with figures of 5-36 from seven overs while Ramraj snared 3-45 (9 overs) and Niran Bissu 1-29 (5 overs).
In response, Select U-17 lost opener Amit Gainda for just five runs. However, Matthew Nandu and Mavendra Dindyal combined to take their side out of trouble with a half-century third-wicket stand.
Nandu was aggressive in his knock of 43 and played some attractive shots before he lost his stumps to Sinclair. Thereafter, the Select U-17 never got going and only Chaitnarine with his knock of 50 (63 deliveries, 4×6) and Dindyal with 33 contributed to their team’s run chase.
Kevin Umrao pegged the U-17 back taking five of their eight wickets to end with 5-31 from 10 overs.
U-17 were left 56 runs short of their required total, 194-8, when their 50 overs expired.