Exciting finale expected between Demerara and Berbice today at Albion
By Rajiv Bisnauth
Demerara will be cognizant not to stumble at the final block of their Pepsi Inter-County 50-over campaign, which has been clinical and unblemished, when they clash with perennial arch-rivals Berbice at the Albion Community Centre
ground from 09:00h today.
Demerara defeated Essequibo and Berbice in the preliminary rounds and therefore will be going into contest with the psychological advantage.
However, Berbice will hope to avenge their defeat to Demerara last Tuesday especially after they steamrolled Essequibo by 10 wickets on Thursday. Therefore, today’s matchup will definitely be an interesting one.
In an invited comment on Saturday Demerara coach Orin Bailey said that while his unit is well oiled, the players cannot afford to be complacent.
“We are well prepared and are up for the challenge, but we cannot afford to be complacent. I was pleased with the general team performance in the preliminary round and in tomorrow’s (today’s) final I expect an even better performance from the team,” Bailey related to this publication on Saturday.
Meanwhile, on paper the Demerara batting is strong. Skipper Christopher Barnwell, who scored a belligerent century against Essequbio, is a genuine match-winner and should he get going at the top of the order and receives support from Rajendra Chandrika, Shemroy Barrington, Trevon Griffith, Steven Jacobs, Robin Bacchus, Derwin Christian and Andrew Lyght Jr, Berbice could be put under some pressure and hard-pressed to win in their own backyard.
While the batting has depth, Demerara’s bowling looked ordinary. Pacers Kellon Carmichael, Paul Wintz and Andre Stoll have not lived up their expectations in the tournament. Therefore, a lot of responsibility will fall into the hands of spinners Zaheer Mohamed, Amir Khan, Jacobs, and Shaquille Williams.
On the other hand, Berbice, without the services of Test players Narsingh Deonarine, Assad Fudadin and Veersammy Permaul, who are unavailable due to West Indies A team duties in India, has one of the weaker teams to represent the county in recent times.
However, coach Hubern Evans remains optimistic that his team will deliver in every department.
“Tomorrow’s (today’s) final will be different in terms of venue, pitch and atmosphere but we are confident of defending our title. We are playing on home turf and with the crowd behind us I fully expect the boys to do well,” Evans disclosed.
The Berbice batting will depend heavily on skipper Sewnarine Chattergoon, along with wicketkeeper Anthony Bramble, Jonathan Foo, Anthony D’Anrade, Devon Clements, Eon Hooper, Rajiv Ivan, Devendra Bishoo and Joemal La Fleur.
Furthermore, Berbice’s strength lies in their bowling department. And while Keon Joseph is genuinely quick, leg-spinner Bishoo can cause major difficulties for the Demerara batsmen.
The vastly improving Hooper, Clements and Ivan are the main spinners in the Berbice line-up and are expected to lend valuable support.