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GCA's Cellink Plus cricket semis start today

Intriguing battles anticipated at Everest & MSC

By Sean Devers
Intriguing cricket is anticipated today and tomorrow in the Georgetown Cricket Association (GCA) Cellink plus 2-day first division cricket semi-finals at the Everest and Malteenoes Sports Club grounds.
Action in both matches is scheduled to commence at 09:30hrs today and the winners will face-off in the final which is fixed for next weekend and the GCA is contemplating a 3-day final commencing Friday.
MSC, who topped the league stage of the competition do battle with fourth placed GNIC at MSC while 2nd placed Everest come up against DCC at Camp Road.
MSC is strengthened by the return of National Opener Shemroy Barrington from his debut season in Canada and will depend heavily on Guyana player Steven Jacobs, the club’s leading run-scorer and one of just four batsmen in the competition with 300 runs.
Jacobs, will want to add to his 305 runs (Ave 76.25) and 2 centuries and should expect batting support from Imran Hassan, national player Deon Ferrier, Danny Narayan, Randy Lindore and Barrington.
Berbican left-arm spinner Damien Vantull who has made himself available to play for Demerara, is the competition’s leading wicket taker with 33 scalps and along with National under-19 pacer Seon Daniels, Jeremiah Harris, Kwesi Nedd and the off-spin pair of Ferrier and Jacobs could prove effective.

GNIC will be spearheaded by former Test player and Chairman of West Indies selectors Clyde Butts, who at age 52 is the tournament’s leading all-rounder with 284 runs (Ave.94.67) including 3 fifties and 18 wickets with his off-spin.

GNIC’s batting had been a worry this season and former Guyana pacer Rayon Griffith is the only player with over 300 runs (310, Ave 34.4). National under-17 opener Quincy Ovid-Richardson, Shawn DeSouza, David Dick, Elton Baker, Ronale Bourne and Guyana under-17 Skipper Dexter Solomon will all need to contribute on what should be a flat track. No off-spinner has more wickets than Butts who shares the 5th spot on the wicket-takers list with National U-17 off-spinner Ricardo Devers and his experience could be a test for the young MSC batsmen. Butts will expect support from his off-spinning son Collis Butts, Ken Alphonso, Baker and Griffith as the Woolford Avenue team aim to advance to the final.
In the other match-up, despite the absence of Test batsman Travis Dowlin who is in Barbados at the West Indies training camp, DCC boast a powerful batting line-up led by the versatile Chris Barnwell but on a track expected to favor spin, Everest should not be counted out.
West Indies U-19 selectee Trevon Griffith and Andrew Lyght Junior (one of the most destructive batsmen in the country) could give the Queenstown side a solid start for Derwin Christian, with a ton under his belt in the competition, Ron Ramnauth, Denis Squires and Deonauth Baksh to build on.
The DCC bowling will be taken care of by National pacer Trevon Garraway, Barnwell, Squires, Kevin George, left-arm spinner Leroy Bristol and National under-19 left-arm unorthodox spinner Totaram Bishun.
Former Guyana under-19 Captain Sauid Drepaul who has more runs than anyone in the competition (386 runs with a ton and 3 fifties) has been replaced as Captain by Abilash Doekie and is unavailable for today’s important match.
Drepaul’s absence could severely affect Everest’s chances since his left-arm spinner, who has netted 24 wickets also played a critical role in his team getting to the semis.

West Indies U-19 right-hander Rajendra Chandrika, Doekie, Ryan Rajmangal, Chris Patandin, Troy Gonsalves and Surendra Hiralal should carry the Everest batting while leg-spinner Gonsalves (only behind Vantull with 28 wickets in the competition), West Indies U-15 leg-spinner Amir Khan and left-arm spinner Javeed Rasheed should do the bulk of the bowling for the hosts. 






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