By Rajiv BisnauthBERBICE closed the shortened opening day of their second round Hand-in-Hand Under-19 Inter-county three-day encounter against Essequibo on 107-6 yesterday, at the Lusignan Community Centre ground.Essequibo, deciding to bowl first, utilised the conditions well with off-spinners Amit Persaud (3-53) and Lance Roberts (3-14), claiming three wickets apiece. Junior Sinclair struck an even 50 off 104 balls with one four and a six.The 18-year-old Alex Algoo, who struck 175 in round one, made 22 off 50 balls with one four and a six. Garfield Benjamin and Nigel Deodat were left unbeaten on 13 and 10 respectively when play ended after 43 overs.The start of play was delayed by a number of soft patches on the pitch, but ground staff did their best in rectifying the issue. After four inspections by the umpires, the start of play was given the green light.However, grey skies prevailed and a sharp shower just after 13:00hrs further delayed the start of play.That shower had left the bowlers’ run-ups somewhat soft, and after two additional inspections by the umpires, play eventually commenced at 15:00hrs.Winning the toss and deciding to bowl first, Essequibo opening bowlers, Ellian Whyte and Adrian Rankirpaul, bowled well but Berbice openers Algoo and Sinclair were solid. Despite the gloomy conditions, the right-handed pair added 42 runs for the first wicket.However, a double bowling change worked for the Essequibians. Persaud broke the promising opening stand when he dismissed Algoo. Thereafter, Berbice lost Jeetendra Outar (2), Kelvon Anderson (5), Seon Glasgow (3), Shamar Angel (0) and Sinclair in quick succession.Benjamin and Deodat then survived some testing moments to the close. Play is scheduled to start at 09:30hrs today.Berbice, the defending champions, drew their first round game against the Select Under-17 team while Essequibo suffered a humiliating nine-wicket defeat against leaders, Demerara, in their first-round encounter.
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