By Sean Devers
Different Coach, different selector, same script!
Bottom placed Guyana were again put under the sword in this year’s WICB regional four-day cricket competition as attractive batting from former Test players Donovan Pagon and David Bernard gave Jamaica the ascendancy going into the penultimate day today.
By the end of the second day of the sixth round clash at the Guyana National Stadium yesterday, Guyana were 22-1 replying to a mammoth 441-8 declared made by Jamaica.
The visitors were led by 105 from Pagon and 97 from Bernard as Narsingh Deonarine (2-71) and Davendra Bishoo (2-110) were the most successful of the Guyana bowlers.
When Guyana begun their reply 30 minutes before ‘stumps’ Royston Crandon stroked Andrew Richardson for four through point off the second ball of the innings, before Shemroy Barrington (0) missed an expansive drive seven minutes from the close and had his middle stump knocked out at 12-1.
Night watchman Davendra Bishoo (4*) and Royston Crandon (14*) who hit left-am spinner Nikita Miller for a six in the day’s final over, were the not out batsmen with Guyana needing another 269 to avoid the follow-on and 419 for first innings points.
Earlier, Jamaica resumed on 149-3 and progressed to 174 before the 72-run fourth wicket partnership was broken when Hinds drove pacer Brandon Bess to mid-off.
Hinds fell eight short of his fifty after hitting four fours and two sixes from 122 balls and 133 minutes.
Bernard joined Pagon who reached his half-century from 187 balls, 193 minutes with six fours and together they batted sensibly on a placid surface and fast outfield and took the total to 228-4 by lunch. At the interval, Pagon was unbeaten on 76 and Bernard on 28.
After the break, Guyana wasted a chance to separate the pair when Pagon was dropped by Leon Johnson at slip who failed to hold a rebound from the gloves of wicket-keeper Derwin Christian with the batsman on 85 and the score on 242-4.
The elegant right-hander compounded Guyana’s misery by smashing Bishoo to the cover boundary in the same over as the Guyana bowling again lacked penetration in sweltering heat.
Another disappointing crowd watched as the 26-year-old Pagon reached his third century with a six off Bishoo. His first ton of the season came from 350 minutes, 321 balls and also included nine fours.
The century partnership was soon posted as Jamaica, hunting their eighth title at this level since winning their first in 1969, tightened their grip on the game.
Just when well set for a big score, Pagon was run out for 105 to end the 101-run partnership and leave Jamaica on 275-5. He batted for 332 balls, 360 minutes and stuck four fours and two sixes.
Bernard soon dumped Bishoo for a six over long-off to bring up his fifty from 137 balls and 153 minutes with four fours and a six as the off-spin of Royston Crandon was used in a long defensive spell from the northern end.
Wicket-keeper Keith Hibbert soon clipped Bishoo, who struggled for consistency, through wide-mid-on for a boundary as the 300 was posted 36 minutes before tea.
The second new ball was taken after 130 overs and the lively Bess continued to have problems with his control by starting with a very big ‘wide’ which a diving Christian did well to haul in.
The erratic Bess sprayed the ball wide of the stumps on both sides and when he finally got within range, he overstepped the crease twice and Bernard smashed him disdainfully for consecutive boundaries, as Skipper Travis Dowlin, who seemed to have run out of ideas, watched from slip as the runs flowed.
Not to be outdone, Hibbert clobbered Esuan Crandon through mid-off for four in the next over as the new ball proved expensive.
The six overs of pace with the new ball conceded 29 runs and Dowlin, who appears under pressure tactically as a leader this season, was forced to introduce the spin of Deonarine just before tea.
By tea, the team from Reggae Country had reached 328-5 with the 27-year-old Bernard on 72 and Hibbert on 20.
In the second over after tea, Hibbert pushed Esuan Crandon fluently to the cover boundary to prove his two similar shots just before the break off the same bowler were not flukes.
With the 50 partnership raised, Hibbert was dropped at slip by Royston Crandon off Deonarine on 24 with the score on 333-5 in the third over after tea.
Bernard on-drove Esuan Crandon and then punched him exquisitely through point for boundaries in the fourth over after tea.
Jamaica’s 350 came up in 512 minutes when Hibbert caressed Deonarine to the cover boundary as the Guyanese looked as flat as the straw colored pitch.
Mohamed then removed Hibbert (37) to a catch by Dowlin at short cover to leave the score on 358-6 and break the 83-run partnership.
Nikita Miller and Bernard then put together 58 for the seventh wicket with Miller (who hit four fours from 63 balls and 55 minutes in his 45) dominating the stand before he edged Royston Crandon to slip at 416-7.
Bernard, who looked very tentative in his 90s took 36 minutes to move from 90 to 97, was soon stumped off Bishoo when three short of his fourth first-class century. His well compiled innings lasted 234 balls, 300 minutes and was decorated with 10 fours and a six and his demise left Jamaica on 416-8.
Odean Browne (18*) smashed Royston Crandon for a huge six and then deposited Deonarine for another over his head at which point the declaration was made.
Barrington’s early departure left Guyana, like has been the case so often this season, battling desperately for survival at the half-way stage of the match.
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