Having suffered defeats at the hands of defending champions Demerara in respective preliminary games, Berbice and Essequibo will need to regroup for their must-win clash in today’s final preliminary match of this year’s Pepsi Inter-County 50-over competition.
Both teams need a win to book a place in Sunday’s final against Demerara at the Albion Community Centre ground. Considering the grim situation, today’s contest comes as a huge challenge and test for both teams.
Although the Berbicians start as clear favourites, the lads from the Cinderella County will aim to spring another surprise like when they beat Berbice for the first time in 1994 at Blairmont.
Both coaches remain positive that their side can bounce back from their first round defeats.
Berbice coach Hubern Evans called for a show of maturity, particularly from his senior players.
“The senior players in the side need to step up; they need to apply themselves better. It’s important that they put their hands up and put in a match-winning performances come tomorrow (today),” Evans said.
Essequibo coach Vibert Johnson noted that Essequibo’s chances of reaching the final depend heavily on the senior players.
“The senior players need to put some more weight on their shoulders if we should come out on top tomorrow (today) and reach the final. We had some setbacks in the first game, but I am confident that we will bounce back,” Johnson opined.
Essequibo will depend on left-handed skipper Royan Fredericks, Vishwanauth Lall and Ricardo Adams, who scored the only century in the recently held Essequibo Cricket Board (ECB) 50-over competition, to carry their batting.
Wicketkeeper Kevin Boodie, Herry Green, Vijai Surujpaul, Kemo Paul, Dellon Heyliger and teenager Ricardo Peters are expected to lend support with the bat.
Despite being hammered by Demerara, Essequibo bowling could be their strength. New ball bowlers Mark Tyrell, who captured a four-wicket haul against Berbice in last year’s four-day competition and Gilford Moore, who has played at the regional level for CCC, form a potent combination. Anthony Adams and off-spinner Jason Heyliger will spearhead the spin attack.
Meanwhile, Shimron Hetmyer and Gudakesh Motie have been replaced by Krishnadat Ramoo and Kevin Ramdeen in Berbice’s 14-man squad. Both Hetmyer and Motie have joined the West Indies under-19 squad to face Bangladesh in seven-match series scheduled for Guyana from October 5.
Even without Narsingh Deonarine, Assad Fudadin and Veerasammy Permaul who are unavailable due to West Indies A team duties, the Berbice batting is strong with skipper Sewnarine Chattergoon, Anthony Bramble, Jonathan Foo, Anthony D’Anrade, Devon Clements, Eon Hooper and Rajiv Ivan. Devendra Bishoo, who made a blistering unbeaten 72 on Tuesday against Demerara and Joemal La Fleur can also lend useful support with the bat.
Keon Joseph is genuinely quick while Bishoo, Clements, Ivan and Ramoo are the main spinners in the Berbice line-up.
Today’s game is scheduled to start at 09:00h and admission to the Georgetown Cricket Club ground is free.
Berbice: Sewnarine Chattergoon (Captain), Kevin Ramdeen, Devendra Bishoo (Vice Captain), Kandasammy Surujnarine, Jonathan Foo, Rajiv Ivan, Anthony Bramble (Wicket keeper), Anthony D’Andrade, Devon Clements, Joemal La Fleur, Romario Shepherd, Keon Joseph, Eon Hooper, Krishnadat Ramoo (Manager) Albert Smith (Coach) Hubern Evan.