Berbice, President’s XI Draw
Berbice’s Royston Crandon and President’s X1 skipper Vishal Singh registered centuries on the final day of their drawn first round Hand-in-Hand/GT&T four-day inter-county cricket encounter which ended at the Everest ground, Camp Road yesterday in a draw.
Scores: President’s X1 185 & 260-7, Berbice 319-8 declared.
West Indies ODI right-hander Royston Crandon took his overnight 79 to 112 before Berbice declared in the first session with a lead of 137 but Singh, who scored 55 in the first innings led from the front with a defiant unbeaten 100 to ensure his team held on for a draw with Singh getting to three-figures in the day’s final over.
Test leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo followed up his 6-57 in the first innings with 3-87 yesterday but his effort was not enough to help gain ‘full points’ for Berbice who start tomorrow’s second round, second on the points table to Demerara who crushed Essequibo at Enmore in their opening game.
Berbice, who face Demerara from tomorrow at Enmore, tried desperately to force an outright win after the entire first day was washed out.
However, the left-handed Singh, in a dogged innings which included several reverse sweeps and a ‘Dilscope’ scoop past the Keeper for four and Seon Hetmyer (40) steadied the ship with valuable 134-run fourth wicket stand to rescue their side from a potentially dangerous position of 77-4.
This was Singh’s third hundred in inter-county four-day cricket after the diminutive GCC player was controversially denied another century in 2010 when rain washed out play on the penultimate day of their game against Demerara at Eve Leary with Singh on 98. The final day was not played because the venue was rented for School sports.
When the President’s X1 began their innings needing 137 to avoid an innings defeat, Opener Shemroy Barrington was bowled by Ruel Johnson for a duck without a run on the board but former Test opener Ryan Ramdass (11) who failed to control a ball from off-spinner Crandon which ‘stopped’ on him. Ramdass’ who spooned a catch to mid-on and Robin Bacchus took the score to 62 before Ramdass’ demise.
Bacchus played enterprisingly and hammered nine fours and two sixes in a shot-filled 63 before Dominic Ricky (0) and the attacking Bacchus were removed by Bishoo in quick succession to leave the score on 77-4.
Hetmyer joined Singh after Lunch was taken with the President’s X1 on 48-1 and together they carried their team to 207 on a day blessed with glorious sunshine and a slow track which kept low at times.
Crandon continued his useful all-round performance in the match by getting rid of Hetmyer, just when he was seemingly well set, to a catch from makeshift keeper Jonathan Foo.
Wicket-Keeper Jason Sinclair (17) also wasted a good start when he was dismissed by Johnson at 239-6. Romario Shepard (2) then edged Bishoo and was caught behind by Foo (who along with Assad Fudadin) shared the keeping duties in the absence of regular Keeper Anthony Bramble who was ill.
At 252-7 the result was no longer in question and the focus had shifted to Singh reaching a three-figure score before the overs for the day expired.
Singh staked an early claim for a recall to the National team with level-headed exhibition of sound shot selection even as most of his team mates gave their wickets away with impetuous shots on a pitch which made playing through the line virtually impossible.
With five needed for his century in the last over, Singh was aided by unimaginative field placing by Sewnarine Chattergoon and good improvisation from the Captain. A reverse sweep for two saw him to his ton with two balls to spare and his 100 came from 188 balls and was decorated with four boundaries.
Earlier, Berbice resumed on 265-6 and shortly after Crandon completed his century the declaration was made.
Kelon Carmichael (2-74) removed Eugene LaFleur (3) and Bishoo (11) leaving Crandon undefeated on his third century at this level. Keon Joseph was with him not out on five. Off-Spinner Collis Butts (3-64 from 35 overs) was the most successful bowler for the President’s X1.
Tomorrow Demerara face Berbice at Enmore, while the President’s X1 will fancy their chances against bottom of the table Essequibo at Bourda.