By Sean Devers
A mesmerizing spell of left-arm spin bowling from Veerasammy Permaul provided the top-of-the-
table Guyana Jaguars with their second consecutive win and 14th against the Windwards at this level when the final day of the second round WICB four-day First-Class cricket Franchise ended yesterday with an exciting 92-run win for the hosts with two overs and six minutes remaining in the contest.
Set 283 to win in two and a half sessions after the Jaguars declared at 175-6, an hour into the day’s play, the 25-year-old Permaul decimated the Volcanoes batting as he took a career best 8-36 from 31.2 probing overs to finish with match figures of 11-76 as the visitors were bowled out for 190 when it seemed at one period that Alton Bobb (24) Nelon Pascal would see their team hold on for a draw.
Scores: Jaguars (290 & 175-6 dec), Volcanoes (184 & 190).
Permaul picked up his 11th five-wicket haul and second 10-wicket match bag in 66 First Class matches and joined OH Layne (9-19), Devendra Bishoo (9-78) and CR Browne (8-58) as the only bowlers with eight or more wickets for Guyana in First-Class cricket and only the second to do so since 1966 when the Shell Shield was born.
On a pitch that surprisingly did not play as badly as expected and in brilliant sunshine instead of the scattered thunderstorms forecast for yesterday, Permaul befuddled the batsmen after the dangerous 33-year-old Devon Smith fashioned an entertaining 43rd First-Class fifty (54) and shared in a 72-run second with partnership with 28-year-old Andre Fletcher (38) after Chris Barnwell had removed Tyrone Theophile (9) at 28-1.
Guyana, now on 34 points, 14 points clear of T&T’s Red Force (20) and Jamaica (19), resumed on 133-5 and lost Shiv Chanderpaul, who was run out for 44 to leave Bajan acquisition Raymond Reifer
unbeaten on 29 when the declaration was made after the Jaguars had scored 42 runs in 60 minutes yesterday. Mervin Matthew (3-47) and Bobb (2-30) were the most successful bowlers for the Islanders.
As the second wicket partnership gained momentum, Smith with 23 First-Class tons and 17 at the Regional level, crashed Ronsford Beaton to the cover boundary like a bullet and the elegant cover drive was excitingly orgasmic.
Smith then leaned into Barnwell in the next over with a majestic extra cover drive and not a man moved as the ball speed to the boundary across the lush green and well manicured outfield.
Fletcher with four First-Class tons to his name, waded into Barnwell and smashed him with disdain past mid-off while Smith looked compact with his defensive bat looking as broad as the sightscreen.
Fletcher clipped Beaton delightfully off his legs for four off the final ball before Lunch which was taken at 69-1 with Smith on 43 and fellow Grenadian Fletcher on 14.
After Lunch, Fletcher danced into Bishoo and dumped him back over his head for four. The right-hander then clipped Bishoo off his legs before pounding him past mid-on for another boundary and at that point the game was in the balance with the pair making a consorted effort to chase down the target.
However, once Smith’s 105-ball and 162-minute innings ended when he touched a catch to the Keeper to give Permaul his first scalp, the local team breathed a collective sigh of relief since Smith is quite fond of Guyana’s bowling.
Fletcher, dropped by Beaton off Bishoo, was then taken at cover off Permaul after hitting six fours and when Sunil Ambris, who hammered seven fours and a six in his 39 departed, the innings went into rapid decline as the Volcanoes slumped from 151-3 to eventually lost their last seven wickets for 39 runs as Permaul went to work.
A small gathering saw Permaul bowl Skipper Liam Sebastian for a duck, Ambris was LBW to Permaul who also got rid of Lindon James (4), Romel Currency (10) and Matthew (0) and the Islanders were desperately trying to survive for dear life.
Peters was LWB to Beaton before it was all over when Permaul finished off proceedings by trapping Bobb LBW.
Guyana play Barbados at Providence from Friday in their final home game for the year and will be without Skipper Leon Johnson, Shiv Chanderpaul and Assad Fudadin who leave tomorrow for the West Indies camp before the Regional Team departs for the three-Test series in South Africa which starts on December 17.
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