SBF Petroleum/CGI Jaguars 50-over franchise cricket tourney…By Brandon CorletteDefending champions of the SBF Petroleum/CGI Jaguars 50-over Franchise cricket tournament, Essequibo, began their title defense with a 122-run win over a star-studded Georgetown team in a match played at the Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) ground at Bourda yesterday.Team EssequiboIn pursuit of 222 to overhaul the Essequibo score, the Leon Johnson-led Georgetown team were shot out for a mere 99 runs scored in 26 overs, after Ronsford Beaton had rampaged through their innings with a haul of 5-18, augmented by Anthony Adams and Akinie Adams each taking two wickets.Ronsford Beaton took 5-18 against GeorgetownEssequibo’s tally of 221-9 was chiefly because of the chanceless innings of the elegant Kemol Savory, who contributed 81 from 112 balls as he led the charge. At one stage, the city side had reduced Essequibo to 63-5, but the partnership between Savory and Ronsford Beaton added 86 runs to rebuild the innings.Savory’s knock of 81 ended with he found Chris Barnwell at point off an Ashmead Nedd delivery. The innings of this left-handed number three batsman spanned 166 minutes and was decorated with six fours and two sixes. Beaton slammed 26, while Quinton Sampson scored 28 down the order.Ashmead Nedd got rid of the dangerous Kemol Savory (Brandon Corlette photos)Bowling for Georgetown, Qumar Torrington snatched 3-64 in 10 overs, while Paul Wintz, Steven Jacobs and Ashmead Nedd each took two wickets.In reply, Georgetown lost Raymond Perez (06), Robin Bacchus (00), Winston Forrester (04), Leon Johnson (23), and Barnwell (00) in quick succession, before Joshua Persaud scored 26. Jacobs, who was caught down the leg-side for 24, was the final Demerara wicket to fall.West Berbice demolish East CoastThe Gudakesh Motie-led West Berbice franchise destroyed the East Coast boys by 10 wickets in a match played at Lusignan. Batting first, East Coast were rattled out for 53 in 22 overs, with only Alphius Bookie who scored 15 reaching double figures. Between themselves, Motie and Kevin Sinclair shared six wickets.Paul Wintz celebrating a wicket with Robin Bacchus and Leon JohnsonPremier left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie grabbed 3-15 in six majestic overs, which included one maiden; while the right-arm off-spinner Kevin Sinclair grabbed 3-16 in six overs that included one maiden.Sinclair also smashed an unbeaten 36 that included two fours and two sixes, while his opening partner Leon Andrews supported with 14 not out as the West Berbice team ended victorious on 54-0 in 11.5 overs.Lower Corentyne defeat East BankLower Corentyne defeated East Bank by 38 runs via the DLS method in a match played at the historic Albion Community Centre Ground. Batting first, Lower Corentyne scored 170 all out in 41.1 overs on the back of Jonathan Foo’s 83, even as Trevon France took 4-25 in 10 overs.Nial Smith bagged four wickets for Lower CorentyneIn reply, East Bank scored 112-8 in 27.3 overs, with Vishaul Singh scoring an unbeaten 38 while Ronaldo Ali-Mohammed scored 24.Impressive paceman Nial Smith continued his brilliant run of form with figures of 4-48, while Junior Sinclair took 2-22 in 7.3 overs.In the other match played at Port Mourant, West Demerara won by nine wickets as they successfully chased down Upper Corentyne’s 124. Alex Algoo scored 63 for the Corentyne-based franchise, while Tavon Hector took 3-12 for West Demerara.In reply, Tagenarine Chanderpaul scored a solid 46 to lead his team to a 9-wicket win.The matches will continue tomorrow (Tuesday) with Upper Corentyne meeting Essequibo at Everest, Georgetown meeting West Demerara at Tuschen, East Bank playing West Berbice at Bush Lot, and Lower Corentyne and East Coast engaging each other at Enmore.