By Sean Devers
After starting with a loss against Jamaica in match two of the Antigua Independence T20 Tri-Nation cricket tournament Guyana Jaguars rebounded with three consecutive wins to book a place in tomorrow night’s final at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound Antigua.
The Leon Johnson led Guyana Jaguars will play the winner of last night’s game between Antigua Master Blasters and Jamaica.
Jaguars’ Head Coach, former Guyana T20 all-rounder Esuan Crandon, said his charges have shown great improvement in all departments after the first game.
“I am happy with the attitude displayed by the players after we lost the first game. Yes, there are a few areas that we would love to improve on during the finals,” said Crandon yesterday from the Jolly Beach Resort.
“The pitch was difficult from the first game Jamaica and Antigua played. It got better for batting when we played Jamaica and Antigua. Last night (Wednesday night) it was a bit more difficult especially when the spinners hit their areas,” Crandon explained.
“Generally it’s not a bad pitch as long as it’s prepared properly …the scores in the second and third games suggested that batters could have played through the line of the ball. It also offered bounce to the quicks and a little spin as well,” Crandon continued.
He informed that the Jaguars players would be doing some pool work yesterday and have a full practice session today ahead of tomorrow’s final under lights.
In last Saturday night’s match against Jamaica, which they lost chasing 180. The Jaguars were restricted to 129-8 when their overs expired. Openers Robin Bacchus (12) and Chris Barnwell (0) failed to fire before Gajanand Singh (7), Johnson (5), Jonathan Foo (7), Sherfane Rutherford (0) and Steven Jacobs (7) all fell cheaply.
Kemo Paul (35 not out) and Wicketkeeper Anthony Bramble (33) offered token resistance, while Veerasammy Permaul remained unbeaten on eight.
In Guyana’s second game Antigua made 170 as Ronsford Beaton (2-45), Jacobs (1-27), Permaul (1-24), Rutherford (0-51) and Paul (1-25) were the bowlers used by the Jaguars.
Guyana replied with 172 to win by four wickets after another bad start as Barnwell got a second duck, Singh failed to score and Bacchus fell for seven.
But Johnson with 34 and Ricardo Adams 28 staged a fight back for the Jaguars before Foo, who was bowled with a no-ball on 51, destroyed the bowling towards the end to finish unbeaten on 71 to the delight of a reasonable crowd comprising mostly Guyanese.
In their next game on Tuesday night they beat Antigua Master Blasters by seven wickets after the hosts were restricted to 137-9 in 20 overs with Devon Thomas top scoring with 46 before he was removed by Paul who had 2-28. Permaul took 3-35.
The Jaguars responded with 138-3 with Johnson leading the way with 42, Bacchus making 34 and Rutherford 28. Chanderpaul Hemraj, who replaced Barnwell in the side, was unbeaten on 31 and with him was Foo on one.
Wednesday night’s game went down to the wire after the South Americans were limited to 106-6 after Bacchus (23) and his opening partner Rutherford (50) provided 69-run opening partnership.
But after that wickets fell regularly with only Foo (11) of the other batsmen reaching double figures.
Jamaica then fell two short of their target despite 35 from opener Steven Taylor and 19 from Fabien Allen as Permaul continued to impress with the ball taking 3-8 from his four overs, while Adams finished with 2-7 from three overs.
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