By Sean Devers in St Lucia
In association with Tower Suites, Trophy Stall & Arrow Head Inn
Leon Johnson led from the front with his second century of the season and shared in
important partnerships with Vishaul Singh and Raymon Reifer to put the Guyana Jaguars in firm control against the Windwards Volcanoes at the end of a rain affected second day of their eighth round PCL four-day First-Class match at the Beausejour Stadium yesterday.
Johnson’s fourth ton and second for the season lasted 183 balls, 285 minutes with 13 fours. The 28-year-old Jaguars Captain added 112 for the fifth wicket with Singh who faced 149 balls, batted for 161 minutes and reached the boundary four times in 58 to become the first batsman to reach 600 runs. Johnson also added 62 for the seventh wicket with Reifer, who stroked a robust unbeaten 27 from 100 minutes with two fours and a six as the Jaguars ended the day on 310-7 in reply to the 216 made by the home team. Mervin Matthew (3-73) was the pick of the bowlers while Kyle Mayers supported with 2-67.
Watched by a sprinkling of spectators the Jaguars resumed the day on 44-2 with Chanderpaul on 20 and Assad Fudadin on 1. The pair posted the 50 off the day’s second over and carried the score 70 before Mayers broke the 43-run partnership by trapping Fudadin LBW for 15 after 40 minutes of play yesterday. Johnson started his innings with 499 runs and soon joined Vishaul Singh and Bajans Shamarh Brooks and Rolston Chase in 500 runs club. He and 19-year-old Chanderpaul commenced ‘operation rebuild’ with Chanderpaul pulling Matthews for an audacious boundary before he seemed very unlucky to be given out LBW by Umpire Gregory Braithwaite. Chanderpaul seemed to get an inside edge at 100-4 and fell four short of what would have been his third First-Class fifty.
The diminutive Singh pulled off-spinner Liam Sebastien for four while Johnson continued to play confidently and favoured the cuts behind point. Singh began with 566 runs and by Lunch, which saw a generous diet of pace for most of the first session, had progressed to 18. Johnson was on 24 at the interval and the Jaguars on 132 still 84 away from the Volcanoes’ score. A brief shower interrupted play 20 minutes before the action resumed and the pair took their partnership to 50. Singh played with immaculate timing and placement, while Johnson was willing to pounce on anything short and wide.
Just after reaching his 27th fifty from 78 balls, 137 minutes with seven fours, Johnson slashed at a wide half volley and was put down by Kaveem Hodge at point. Shillingford looked a shadow of his old self with the ball and failed to trouble the left handed pair, while Matthew and the Bajan pair of Mayers and McClean toiled hard and long in the conditions which frequently changed from sunny to overcast. Singh soon became the first batsman to reach 600 runs and continued to find the gaps on the heavy outfield with ease but Johnson was the more entertaining of the two.
Singh danced into Shillingford minutes before Tea and with a rush of blood drove just over the head of cover but that did not deter him from using his feet confidently to the spinners. By Tea the score was 199-4 as 67 runs were scored in the session in which no wicket fell. The partnership had progressed to 99 with Johnson on 63 and Singh on 46 and the Jaguars needed just 17 runs go to past the Volcanoes total. After the break Singh, who was dropped by Shillingford off his own bowling on 54, played no shot to off-spinner Sebastian and was trapped LBW for 58. This was his sixth half-century and his dismissal broke the stand and left the Jaguars on 212-5.
Johnson smashed Shillingford gloriously to the cover boundary prompting Sebastien to take the new ball as soon as it became available. That ploy soon worked as Anthony Bramble (4) edged Matthew to the Keeper at 229-6, but Johnson clipped Mayers for back-to-back boundaries in the next over even as Matthew peppered Reifer with a barrage of quick bouncers.
Rain again stopped at 15:55hrs with the Jaguars on 220-6 from 84.3 overs with 10 runs needed for their second batting point and Johnson 14 short of his ton. Reifer grew in confidence the longer he batted and pulled Mayers for six before clipping Kevin McClean for a one-bounce boundary over mid-wicket. Johnson latched onto a half volley from McClean and stroked it majestically to the extra cover boundary to reach his century from 169 balls, 259 minutes with 12 well struck fours.
The partnership continued to flourish with Johnson playing an audacious drive past Mayers’ ankle for four as the sun returned in all its glory before he was removed by Shillingford at 291-7. Veerasammy Permaul (16) and Reifer (27) batted to the close and ensured that their team collected three batting points.
In Summerised scores from the other matches:
Jamaica vs Barbados
Jamaica 177 and 22/2: Campbell 6*, McCarthy 2*
Edwards 2, S. Thomas 5
Wkts: Warrican 2
Barbados 217: Chase 53, Braithw 66 McCarthy 52, S.Thomas 50 Wkts: Greaves 5/41
T&T vs Leewards
T&T 264/6 (stumps): Deonarine 49* Katwaroo 18*
Ottley 1 Mohammed 4 Cariah 30, Khan 82, Lewis 22, Hope 26
Wkts: Peters 1 Tonge 2 Cornwall 3
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