Shiv Chanderpaul proved that there is no substitute for experience as he fell nine runs short
of his 72nd First-Class ton, while Rajendra Chandrika stroked an entertaining 86 as Guyana Jaguars reached 279-7 at the end of the opening day of the first round Digicel four-day PCL First-Class game against Jamaica Scorpions yesterday at Providence.
On a day on which age was just a number, 42-year-old left-hander Chanderpaul stroked 10 fours on a difficult Providence track with variable bounce to hit a 140-ball 91 and shared a partnership of 68 with Bajan Raymond Reifer (40) for the fifth wicket and 40 for the fourth with Vishual Singh (16).
After West Indies ‘A’ team opener, teenager Shemron Hetymer (5) played a loose drive in the fourth over with the score on 13, and was bowled by Marquino Mindley, Chandrika dominated a 98-run second wicket stand with Skipper Leon Johnson (19) who played the role of silent partner.
In hazy sunshine, the Jaguars, who left out Tagenarine Chanderpaul and Chris Barnwell, opted to bat on one of the two pitches that were not resurfaced and quickly lost Hetymer.
The 27-year-old Chandrika pulled Jason Dawes when he bowled short and whipped him off his legs for boundaries on an outfield with several sandy patches. The flamboyant right-hander from Enterprise elegantly pushed Mindely down the ground before cutting him magnificently for successive boundaries.
After the first hour the Jaguars were 33-1 with Chandrika on 23 and Johnson yet to score from 28 balls as Mindley in particular, bowled with immaculate control on a track on which the first ball of the day was taken by the Keeper at ankle height.
Johnson got off the mark with a disdainful pull of debutant pacer Jerval Green who ran in and bowled with plenty of heart and at Lunch the hosts were 89-1 with Chandrika, who reached his 12th fifty, on 62 and Johnson on a watchful 12.
After the interval Johnson got one that cut back and kept a bit low and was bowled to give Green his first wicket at this level. Johnson batted for 135 minutes in his 95-ball 19 to leave the Jaguars on 111-2.
Chandrika punched left-arm spinner and Captain Nikita Miller for four before he cut at one too close to him and edged a catch to the Keeper to leave the score on 125-3
Chanderpaul, in his 15th match against Jamaica, a team he has made the highest score in Regional four-day cricket (303*) against and averages 74.37, Chanderpaul got going with a fabulous cover driven boundary before edging Dawes, the quickest of the Scorpion’s trio of pacers, between the Keeper and first slip for four.
The former West Indies Captain, with 30 Test tons from a record 164 matches and only second to Brian Lara on the runs aggregate by a West Indian, was beaten a few times outside off-stump before tucking Dawes off his body for a delightful boundary.
Singh, just back from a successful ‘A’ team trip to Sri Lanka, danced into leg-spinner Damion Jacobs and dumped him over mid-on for four. But in trying to repeat the shot next ball, skied an outside edge to cover as he threw his wicket away at 165-4.
A crowd of close to 100 fans watched as Reifer, in the 25th First-Class match at Providence, clobbered John Campbell for consecutive boundaries before he was LBW to Green after facing 69 balls and striking five fours and a six at 233-5.
One run later, Anthony Bramble (0) was bowled by a beauty from Miller who induced Chanderpaul to edge to Jermaine Blackwood at slip to orchestrate his demise when nine short of his 18th Regional First-Class ton.
Miller (3-64) bowled 34 overs but Green was the best Jamaica bowler on show yesterday and took 2-61 from 17 overs. All the others contributed with the ball as the first day ended with Veerasammy Permaul (8) and debutant Eon Hooper, who replaced Devendra Bishoo in the team, yet to score.
Today’s action commences at 09:30 hrs and will be carried live on NCN’s VOG.
Meanwhile, in BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, – Scores at the close on the opening day of the first round of matches in the Regional Four-Day Championship yesterday show: At Warner Park: LEEWARD ISLANDS HURRICANES 210 for five (Nkrumah Bonner 71 not out, Jahmar Hamilton 65, Chesney Hughes 31, Kieran Powell 26; Kevin Stoute 3-24) vs BARBADOS PRIDE. (CMC)
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