… Algu stars in Berbice easy victory over EssequiboDEMERARA began their Guyana Cricket Board (GCB)-sponsored Igloo Inter-county Under-17Opener Alex Algu strikes an entertaining 81.tournament on a high, as they beat the Select Under-15 team by 20 runs at the Georgetown Cricket Club ground yesterday.Set 169 to win, the Select Under-15 team were bowled out for 148 in 49.3 overs.Opener Ricardo Ramdehol made a fighting 98-ball 43, with five fours, but lethargic running between the wickets, along with the loss of a number of wickets at the back end of the innings, eventually cost the Select Under-15 team. Five batsmen were run-ut.Kester McAllister (2-6), man-of-the-match Pradeep Balkishun (2-13) and Omar Torrington (1-37) were the successful bowlers for the hosts.Earlier, winning the toss and deciding to bat, Demerara lost wickets at regular intervals and were denied momentum for almost the entire innings.Medium-pacer Sheldon Charles (3-39) and left-arm spinner Hemraj Harrilall (2-26) were the pick of the bowlers, while Travon Charles, Andre Seepersaud and Daveanand Khemraj, all had a wicket apiece in a total bowling effort from the Select Under-15’s.For the hosts a number of batsmen got starts but, not being able to convert promising starts into substantial contributions, they ended up 168-9 when the allotted overs expired.Hemnauth Dindyal made a top score of 25, with six other batsmen managing double figures.The hosts’ made a disappointing start when they lost opener Rajendra Singh in the innings’ fourth over.After adding 19 runs with fellow opener Navindra Persaud, Singh was caught at extra-cover off the bowling of Travon Charles for five.However, it was a little better thereafter. Persaud and Alphius Bookie settled in and featured in a 38-run second-wicket stand.But the introduction of Harrilall and Seepersud at opposite ends brought immediate success. Harrilall trapped Bookie leg-before-wicket for 13, while Seepersaud bowled Persaud for a 47-ball 17. Pradesh Balkishun (18) followed soon after when he was run out in a mix-up with Dindyal.Thereafter, Dindyal and Jeremiah Scott added 37 for the fifth-wicket before Hemraj removed Scott, caught-and-bowled, at 117-5.Things slipped further for the hosts with four quick wickets, including Dindyal. McAllister (2) was trapped lbw to Khemraj before Sheldon Charles claimed the wickets of Qumar Torrington (11), Dindyal and Dequen Bamfield. Andrew Samaroo made an unbeaten 14.The Select Under-15 openers were then allowed to score freely, and in the process put together 35 for the first wicket before Balkishun provided the breakthrough with the wicket of Shamar Yearwood who made 12.Ricardo Ramdehol and Sheldon Charles then stitched together 51 for the second-wicket,But the chase faltered thereafter with a number of quick wickets. Balkishun trapped Ramdeol plumb in front, while Marvan Prashad went run-out without scoring.Kester McAllister then removed both Saif Amoi without scoring and Sheldon Charles, to reduce the Select Under-15 team to 91-5.They lost the remaining five wickets for just 57 runs, with Khemraj (16), Mark Ramanand (16) along with Travon Charles (11 not out), who offered some resistance in the closing stages of the innings.Meanwhile, in the other first-round game, Berbice whipped Essequibo by 115 runs.Opener and man-of-the-match Alex Algu stroke an entertaining 81, with eight fours and three sixes, which eventually guided Berbice to 215 all out in 49.1 overs. Algu received support from Kevin Omroa (26), Nigel Deodat (17) and Antonio February (14).Bowling for Essequibo, Lance Roberts, Badesh Parastom and Reyaz Khan picked up two wickets each, while Leon Swami, Mahesh Ramnarine and Azeem Mohammed chipped in with a wicket.In reply, Essequibo were bowled out for 100 in 28.5 overs. Roberts hit a top score of 28. Pacer Gevon Shultz took 4-21, Omroa 3-21, Deodat (2-28). Kevlon Anderson was the other successful bowler.The tournament continues tomorrow, with Demerara playing Essequibo at GCC, while Berbice will take on the Select Under-15 team at Everest.