FOLLOWING their innings victory over Essequibo at the Enmore Community Centre ground, defending champions and point leaders of the Guyana Cricket Board/Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company/Hand-in-Hand four-team tournament, Demerara, return to that venue to oppose Berbice over the next four days from today.At the world renowned Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) ground, the President’s XI, who showed resilience in their second innings to hold Berbice to a draw, will take on perennial whipping boys Essequibo.
Both matches bowl off at 1000hrs.
The Leon Johnson-led Demerara lineup of which 12 of its 14 members have represented Guyana, will first and foremost look to claim first innings points from the Ancient County team, before pressing for the outright win.
Their batting will hinge around Johnson, his deputy Christopher Barnwell, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Trevon Griffith, Rajendra Chandrika, Zaheer Mohammed, first round debutant Christopher Pattadin and Steven Jacobs, who missed the first round for academic duties in Barbados.
Support in the batting department will also come from Paul Wintz, wicketkeeper/batsman Joseph Perry, Amir Khan and Trevon Garraway, who are all worthy customers with the willow.
Mohammed and national leg-spinner Khan will also be taking charge of the spin department on the ground which saw them share the wickets against Essequibo, after Wintz, Garraway and Barnwell take the sheen off the new ball.
Of concern to Johnson and his coach Orin Bailey is the selection of the final 11 for this contest, based on the return of Jacobs along with discarded national wicketkeeper/batsman Derwin Christian, who was replaced for the first round by Perry and was expected back in Guyana sometime yesterday.
In an invited comment with Chronicle Sport, Demerara Cricket Board’s (DCB) Senior Chairman of Selectors Nazimul Drepaul said “While Christian may be present in person, I don’t think he will be playing this round, in all fairness to the other wicketkeepers around, but I will wait until tomorrow (this morning) to make a decision.”
On the other hand, Berbice, who on the back of Royston Crandon’s unbeaten ton, and half-centuries from skipper Sewnarine Chattergoon, Assad Fudadin and Jonathan Foo, pressed for an outright victory over the President’s XI, had to settle for first innings points in the drawn fixture.
The above-mentioned quartet will definitely be leading their batting while the likes of Anthony D’Andrade, Rajiv Ivan, Anthony Bramble and Eugene LaFleur, will be looking to cash in and get a score, having failed to reach double figures in their last outing.
Raun Johnson has troubled the President’s XI batsmen on the Camp Road track, but how he fares against the Demerara batting lineup is left to be seen, while his new ball partner Keon Joseph, looked ordinary and out of sorts.
The guile of discarded West Indies leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo has never been questioned on local surfaces, but with batsmen of the calibre of Sarwan and Johnson, two good players of spin bowling in the opposition lineup, it may be called into question today.
He will be having support in this department from Krisendat Ramoo (if selected), Chattergoon, Crandon, Ivan and LaFleur, even as Fudadin offers support to Joseph and Johnson with the new ball.
President’s XI skipper Vishal ‘Cheesy’ Singh, who was appalled at the negative line bowled by the Berbicians in his team’s second innings, when he compiled an even unbeaten ton, will look to continue that rich form against the Essequibians who maybe jolted by their defeat to Demerara.
Robin Bacchus had a pugnacious half-century in the second innings when his team trailed by 134 runs, while Seon Hetmyer stuck around with Singh to add a valuable 130-run partnership, which all but steered their team from the jaws of defeat.
Ryan Ramdass, Shemroy Barrington, Jason Sinclair and Dominique Rikhi, will also be looking for big scores, even as Shaquille Williams, Kellon Carmichael, Romario Shepherd-DeJonge and Andre Stoll (if selected) seek to throw in their weight with the bat as well.
Shepherd-DeJonge will take charge of the new ball and can expect support from Carmichael, Stoll and Seon Daniels, while Williams, Collis Butts and Steven Sankar will be tasked with taking care of the spin department against a team who showed no signs of composure against the likes of Khan and Mohammed.
Royan Fredericks is always known as a ‘no-nonsense’ opener, and he displayed glimpses of such character in his second-innings half-century against Demerara.
However, in order for the Anthony Adams-led Essequibo lineup to post a fighting total for this fixture, players such as Dillon Heyliger, Kevon Boodie, Ricardo Peters, Rovindra Parsram, Parmesh Parsotam and Rajiv Balgobin, need to turn up with their ‘A’ game and put up a fight.
Lively Under-17 fast bowler Kemo Paul will take charge of the new ball with support from Heyliger and Mark Tyrell, even as Adams, Fredericks and Heemchand Persaud, control the spin department for the Cinderella County.
Shawn Coonjah and Shannon Crawford will call play at Enmore, with Gyananand Sukhdeo as the standby official, while at GCC, Patrick Garnath and Montgomery Chester will officiate in the middle, with Zaheer Mohammed as the third official.
Written By Calvin Roberts