THANKS to half-centuries from Shaquille Williams and Jason Sinclair, the President’s XI gathered a first innings lead of 193 runs over Essequibo, who were battling to avoid an innings defeat at the end of the second day of their Guyana Cricket Board/Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company/Hand-in-Hand four-day tournament at the Georgetown Cricket Club ground. Resuming on their overnight score of 121 for 4, with skipper Vishal Singh and Shaquille Williams on 52 and 1 respectively, President’s XI who surrendered first innings points to Berbice in the previous round, were bowled out for 297, with Sinclair unbeaten on 60, against the bowling of Anthony Adams (4 for 90), Keanu Harry (3 for 49) and Dillon Heyliger’s 2 for 59.
At the close of play, Essequibo were 126 for 6 from 34.5 overs, still needing 67 more runs to avoid an innings defeat as they head into today’s third day, as Collis Butts and Andre Stoll who has so far taken 2 wickets each for 14 and 19 runs respectively, placed their team in a firm position to post an outright win.
Earlier, Singh and Williams posted 81 for the fifth wicket, with Williams recording his maiden half-century at this level from 67 deliveries, decorated with eight fours, before he was caught on the deep midwicket boundary by Mark Gonsalves off the bowling of Adams at 199 for 5, for 52.
Shortly after losing Williams, Singh joined him in the cool comforts of the pavilion, when he was adjudged lbw to a delivery that was pitched outside the leg stump from Adams for a patient 85 (254 balls, 1×4), a mere five minutes before the lunch interval.
At the break, President’s XI were 229 for 6 with Sinclair on 19 which included a six struck off the bowling of Adams over long off, with Butts yet to score and after the break, Essequibo called for and got immediate success with the new ball, when Butts was caught by Ekmauth Persaud off Heyliger at wide mid-off, off the second delivery.
Steven Sankar (1) joined Sinclair, who after hitting Heyliger for a 6 and 4 off successive deliveries, posted his 50 from 107 deliveries, with his fourth four off Harry to long on, but he lost the services of Sankar and Stoll (14), who were both bowled by Harry, who also accounted for Seon Daniels (3) just before tea.
Faced with a mammoth deficit, Essequibo saw it got larger when they lost Kevon Boodie (0) who was lbw to a fiery Stoll off the third delivery of the first over, enabling a belligerent Royan Fredericks 38 (40 balls, 6×4) and Ekmauth Persaud 12 (1×4) to post 52 for the second wicket.
As he did against Demerara in the second innings of his team’s first round contest, Fredericks fought fire with fire by hitting a sluggish-looking Daniels for 4, 6, 4 in one over which went for 17 runs, before Butts removed Persaud via lbw and Stoll induced Heyliger (6) to edge one through to Sinclair, to leave Essequibo shakily placed on 60-3.
It became 66 for 4, when Fredericks pushed forward lazily to one from Butts and offered Seon Hetmyer an easy catch at forward short leg, following which Adams struck three fours in a quick-fire 18, before he was unfortunately given out lbw, despite getting a thick inside edge from a Williams’ delivery at 87 for 5.
A resilient 39-run, sixth-wicket partnership between Parsram Parsotam (23) and Kemo Paul who was unbeaten on 24 with five fours, eased Essequibo across the 100-run mark, before Parsotam offered Ryan Ramdass catching practice at midwicket off the penultimate delivery of the day from Robin Bacchus (1 for 19).
At the Enmore Community Centre ground, defending champions Demerara were shakily placed on 68 for 6 against Berbice, who resumed the second day on 73 for 3 and went on to score 243 before they were bowled out, with Royston Crandon top-scoring with 95, against the bowling of Amir Khan who took 6 for 69 and Zaheer Mohammed’s 2 for 46.
Faced with a deficit of 82 runs, Demerara lost their top six batsmen to the wiles of Devendra Bishoo who in tandem with Crandon left their nemesis on 64 for 6, before Khan and Christopher Pattadin eased them to their final score at the close.
Resuming on his overnight score of 12, Crandon chalked up his second half-century of this year’s tournament, taking 87 deliveries to do so whilst hitting five fours and along with Krisendat Ramoo who was yet to score overnight, pushed Berbice to 182 for 3 at lunch, for a lead of 21 runs.
At the interval, Crandon was on 84 with nine fours and Ramoo 36 (5×4) and they pushed the score to 204 after the lunch interval, before Crandon was caught at the wicket by Joseph Perry off Khan, having faced 163 balls and hitting nine fours while falling five runs short of his second successive ton in this year’s tournament.
Crandon’s dismissal came after he was given two lives by Leon Johnson at slip off Christopher Barnwell and Khan himself who failed to hold on to a return catch when the right-handed batsman was on 48 and 60 respectively.
The quick demise of Jonathan Foo and Devon Clements, who were both dismissed without scoring, left Berbice on 205 for 6 after being 204 for 3 and when Ramoo was caught by Trevon Griffith at first slip off Khan, Berbice were 209 for 7.
Demerara wasted little or no time in mopping up Berbice’s tail after Ramoo’s demise, as Khan sent back Anthony Bramble (15) and Raun Johnson (11) while Mohammed accounted for Bishoo (7), leaving Keon Joseph unbeaten on 4.
Batting a second time, Demerara lost Rajendra Chandrika (2), who was run-out by Ramoo after being sent back by Griffith, who defied the situation with a quick-fire 40 (3×4), while seeing the destruction at the other end.
He added 49 for the second wicket with Johnson (10), but from the comfortable position of 51 for 1, Demerara collapsed to 64 for 6, losing Johnson, Griffith, Ramnaresh Sarwan (1), Christopher Barnwell (5) and Steven Jacobs (2).
To date, Bishoo has taken 3 for 15 (match figures of 9 for 65) and Crandon 2 for 12 from a combined total of 26 overs, leaving Demerara in search of 14 more runs, when play resumes at 09:30hrs today.
Written By Calvin Roberts