By Sean Devers in St Lucia in association with Golden Arrow Inn, Noble House Seafoods, Trophy Stall and Bissan’s Trading Carpets & Mats Store
The final day of the third round Day/Night game between Guyana Jaguars and
Windwards Volcanoes in the Digicel Regional First-Class tournament at the Daren Sammy CG was washed out yesterday without a ball being bowled for the second consecutive day, the match ending in a draw.
At the end of day two, the Volcanoes were 90-4 with a lead of 67 and six wickets standing and the Jagaurs scenting a win after they had made 219 in reply to 192 made by the hosts in their first innings.
But a Tropical Depression which forced the St Lucia Government to close schools yesterday, brought with it torrential all night and all day rain yesterday leaving the ground in a soggy condition, resulting in the game being called off in the first session.
The Jaguars had to settle for three points for the draw in addition to three bowling points, one batting point and 2.2 points for wickets taken by fast bowlers. They will start their next match, another Day/Night encounter against Barbados Pride at Providence from December 9, on 33.2 points.
The Volcanoes got eight points from this game but are still in the cellar position on 17.2 points while the two-time defending champions climbed to second behind leaders Pride who are on 34.2 points
Head Coach of the Jaguars, former Guyana pacer Esaun Crandon expressed disappointment that the adverse weather robbed his team of a possible nine additional points since they were well placed to dismiss the Volcanoes on Monday with enough time to chase a victory target.
”It would have been good to get four days of play but while we are disappointed that the rain robbed us a possible outright win and nine more points, there is nothing we could do about the weather”
The 34-year-old Crandon, who took 90 wickets from 38 First-Class games, noted that there are two main areas of concern moving forward.
Last season the Jaguars got batting points by scoring several first innings 300 plus totals but this season none of the batsmen have been able to convert good starts into three-figures which is a reason Guyana has not been able to accumulate more batting points this season.
”We have spoken about the batsmen not going on to get big scores in our team meetings and the lack of shot-selection which robbed us of an extra point against Jamaica when we scored 298 and against the Hurricanes when we fell for 293. No one has scored a century as yet but we still have seven games to get that right¸” Berbician Crandon disclosed.
HE also added that the Jaguar’s batting line-up is far better than their scores suggest. “Another area of concern has been our catching. We have let batsmen off the hook a few times already this season and in the coming games we need to improve on that” Crandon said.
Never before has nine wickets been taken in a single First-Class innings by fast bowlers representing Guyana as was the case when Raymon Reifer’s first five wicket haul (6-82), Keon Joseph (2-50) and Chris Barnwell (1-25) combined to bowl out the Volcanoes for 192 in their first innings.
In 2006 in South Trinidad, Crandon’s career best 7-125 and former Test pacer Reon King (1-63) shared eight wickets between them against T&T, while last season at this very venue Ronsford Beaton (5-43), Reifer (2-42) and Joseph (1-51) took eight wickets between them.
”The conditions were ideal for seam bowling. The pitch had something in it, most of the game was played in the night under lights in strong breeze and the pink ball which kept its color and hardness, swing more than the red balls,” Crandon stated.
”Reifer really bowled and Joseph, who has improved a lot since the last season, has come back from Sri Lanka (with West Indies ‘A’ team) with plenty of confidence while the fast bowlers on both sides made their presence felt during this game, “ Crandon informed.
Marvin Matthew (4-43), Delorn Johnson (4-54) and Kyle Mayers (2-43) combined to dismiss the Jaguars for 219 despite half-centuries from Reifer and Keeper Anthony Bramble who shared in 104 seventh-wicket stand.
Crandon feels that playing under lights here with the pink ball is good preparation for Guyana’s next game at home but informed that the jaguars’ batsmen feel white sightscreens should have been used with the pink balls since that color is closer to red balls than the white ball which is used with Black sightscreens.
Skipper and Test left-hander Leon Johnson, who led his team to Championship honors in the last two seasons and to an unprecedented 18-match unbeaten streak which was broken in the last round by the Hurricanes, said that the Day/Night against Pakistan was played with white sightscreens.
Australia’s Day/Night Test at the Adelaide Oval against South Africa is being played with pink balls and white sightscreens. The Jagaurs are scheduled to return home tonight.
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