By Sean Devers in Trinidad in association with Noble House Seafoods, Payless Variety Store & Cascadia Hotel
This was the 53rd time these two teams were meeting at this level and yesterday at the Queens Park Oval in the fourth round of the WICB Four-Day Franchise Cricket, Guyana drew level with Trinidad & Tobago with 12 wins each when the final day of First-Class cricket for year ended in an innings and 60-run win for the Guyana Jaguars.
The Red Force, set 294 to avoid an innings defeat, began the final day on 58-4 and were bowled out for 234, an hour and 26 minutes after lunch despite 67 from Akeel Hosein and an entertaining 47 from West Indies under-19 Wicketkeeper Nicolas Pooran. Leading wicket-taker left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul finished with 4-51 to go to 33 scalps, 12 ahead of Imran Khan’s 21. He got support from leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo (3-82) and pacer Ronsford Beaton (2-24)
Scores: Red Force (198 & 234), Jaguars (492-8 dec). When play resumed 30 minutes earlier to make up for time lost on the third day, left-hander Yannic Cariah and night watchman Daniel St Clair frustrated the Jaguars for 40 minutes.
St Clair hit Permaul for a big six before driving Beaton past mid-off for four.
Cariah (26) played with a sound defense and put the bad balls away until he edged Permaul to wicket Keeper Anthony Bramble after batting for 105 minutes, facing 66 balls and hitting three fours to leave the home team on 80-5.
The last time a night watchman scored a First-Class century in Trinidad was in the 1991 Red Stripe Cup when Guyanese pacer Garfield Charles made 101 at Guaracara Park in South Trinidad and yesterday St Clair, who hails from that same area, showed good batsmanship and looked quite capable of a big score on the easy paced pitch.
The 21 year-old left-handed Akeel Hosein smashed Deonarine for consecutive boundaries before St Clair tucked one to mid wicket for a single to bring up the Red Force’s 100 in 154 minutes from 224 balls as another nice little partnership was being put together in brilliant sunshine in Carnival country.
St Clair, who turns 27 later this month is playing in only his second match for his Country at this level but just when he seemed set for something substantial he pull Permaul to substitute Taignarine Chanderpaul, running in from deep square as the Red Force slipped to 102-6. The partnership was worth 22 runs and St Clair’s 25 lasted 89 minutes, 72 balls and was decorated with four fours and a six.
Yesterday was a working day in middle of the Christmas season and preparation for Carnival
(set for February 16 & 17 next year) which is bigger than Christmas here. These festivities and not cricket attract attention at this time.
Add the fact that the standard of Cricket has significantly declined and it was no surprise that no more than 10 spectators were in the stands to see the final day’s play of a contest without any of the leading West Indian players.
The Red Force’s batting has been substandard this season with their highest total being 213-5 against Barbados, but yesterday they were not going down without a fight and got to their highest score for the season. Hosein latched onto Bishoo and brutally pulled him to the mid-wicket boundary while Khan swiveled and swept Deonarine to fine leg for four before clobbering him viciously through mid wicket for another boundary.
By Lunch the pair was still together with the Red Force on 148-6. Hosein was on 47, Khan on 13 and the deficit had been reduced to 146. After the Interval, Khan hammered Bishoo for four while Hosein reached his 50 from 118 minutes, 114 balls with eight fours and celebrated with back-to-back boundaries off Bishoo, who soon produced a brute of a ball that bounced spitefully and turned forcing Khan to edge a catch to Chris Barnwell at first slip.
His demise left the Red Force on 176-7 and ended a promising 74-run stand with Khan’s contribution
being 24 from 94 minutes and 76 balls. Pooran stroked Deonarine for a couple of crunching off side fours before backing away and dabbing Permaul to third man and the deficit was into double digits.
However, when 36 short of his second hundred at this level, Hosein hooked Bishoo to long-on at 191-8 after hitting 10 fours, from 155 minutes and 132 balls while Skipper Rayed Emrit (1) was taken at mid-off as a powerful straight drive rebounded off the bowler as Permaul struck to leave the hosts on 208-9.
The aggressive Pooran jumped into Bishoo and deposited him into the Media stand to bring up the 200 before he dumped Bishoo for another six over square-leg. A savage pull for four finished off the expensive over from the Test spinner.
Last man Marlon Black hoisted Permaul over mid-wicket for when he tossed one into the air but Pooran was taken in the deep off Bishoo to end the match. Pooran’s 47 came from 48 balls, 72 minutes and included six fours and two sixes.
The conquering Jaguars return home today and the emphatic win pushed the South American unit further into the lead on 57 points with three wins and a shocking loss to Barbados. The Four-Day Franchise will break for Christmas and resume with the Nagico Super50 tournament from January 15. The Four-Day format continues with the fifth round on February 6 with Guyana’s foundation well laid for them to clinch their seventh title and first since 1998.
This was Guyana’s second 300 plus total and Coach Eusan Crandon said he was pleased with the all-round performance of his team which will shift its focus to the 50-over version of the Franchise.
“We are pleased with our showing here especially after the manner in which we lost to Barbados and I say congrats to Vishaul (Singh) for reaching his first century and leading the guys to his first win as Captain. It’s always an honor to represent our Country and we wish the entire Guyana a merry Christmas and promise to play hard cricket when the competition resumes next year” the former Guyana pacer concluded.
Result: Jaguars won by an innings and 60 runs. Points: Jaguars 18 (3 bowling points + 3 batting points + 12 for victory), Red Force 1 (0 batting points + 1 bowling point). Man-of-the-Match: Vishal Singh (Guyana).
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