By Sean Devers in Trinidad
In association with Regal, Vnet,
Noble House Seafoods & Cascadia Hotel
In murky conditions and played before virtually empty stands, Guyana Jaguars, led by a 79-run fifth wicket stand between Raymon Reifer and Anthony Bramble, extended their winning streak to five matches when they defeated Canada by four wickets last night at the Queen’s Park Oval in their return game in the Regional Super50 tournament to get a bonus point and maintain their lead with 24 Points.
Nitish Kumar made 51 from 72 balls with three fours and a six and added 48 for the second wicket with Ruvindu Gunasekera whose 34 lasted 80 balls and two fours after Naveet Dhaliwal, the tournament’s leading run scorer with 278 runs, fell for 20 from 29 balls with a four and a six.
Nikhil Dutta (29) and David Jacobs (34*) featured in a 52-run partnership to rally Canada, who pulled off their only win in their last game against Volcanoes, to 205-7 in 50 overs.
Veerasammy Permaul had 2-26 for the Jaguars who reached 208-6 after their four top batsmen were all back in the pavilion before they had reached 100.
Skipper Leon Johnson made 37 from 45 ball with seven fours and shared in a 30-run stand with Rutherford who scored 27 with two fours and two sixes and 33 in 26 balls with Chris Barnwell (7) with Johnson scoring 24 of those runs.
But Reifer who reached the boundary four times and cleared it once in an unbeaten 61 and Bramble whose 44 lasted 40 balls and included three fours and two sixes, staged a match winning recovery.
After a delay of 45 minutes due to morning rain Canada opted to bat in overcast conditions and the 30-year-old Dhaliwal got going with a six off Reifer in the second over.
Gunasekera stroked Pestano for four. Dhaliwal, who made 88 against the Jaguars in their first game, hit Reifer for four.
Pestano bowled with impeccable control and conceded 10 runs in his first five-over spell as he utilised the cloudy conditions and swung the ball both ways.
After 10 overs Canada were 35 without loss before Romario Shepherd induced Dhaliwal (20) to top-edge a hook to deep backward square to break the 38-run opening stand.
Nitish Kumar joined Gunasekera who pulled off-spinner Ramaal Lewis for four as the Jaguars’ leading wicket-taker had trouble gripping the ball on the slightly damp outfield.
The 50 was posted in 16.2 overs the second wicket partnership gathered momentum as the sun played a cat and mouse game with the ominous clouds.
But with the partnership on 48 and the score on 86, Gunasekera (34) was bowled by Lewis to get his 12th scalp, while three runs later Permaul bowled Bhavindu Adhihetty (2) to leave Canada, on 89-4.
The 100 was posted in the 28thand Harish Thaker (15) added 38 with Kumar before he was removed by Ricardo Adams at 127-5 and when Kumar who reached his fifty from 68 balls with three fours and a six was dismissed by Permaul at 131-5, the Jaguars were in the ascendency.
Guyanese Delon Heyliger (7) was bowled by Pestano at 138-6 to give the Rose Hall Town pacer his 11th wicket before the 150 came up in the 43rd over.
David Jacobs, who made 44 the first time these two team met, dumped Adams for six and lofted Pestano for four and along with Nikhil Dutta who was run out in the penultimate over, offered fight.
When the Jaguars began their reply the tournaments leading wicket-taker Romesh Don (17) bowled a tight first over before Trevon Griffith scored the first boundary of the innings when he drove Don past cover before charging down on Rutherford and was run out by the length of the pitch for nine at 16-1.
Rutherford hit Don for six while Johnson cut Kumar for four before Rutherford smashed Don for four more and dumped Kumar for four and when Dutta was introduced Rutherford clobbered him over mid-off for four.
Johnson pulled Heyliger audaciously for a couple of boundaries before Rutherford missed a big swing and was bowled at 46-2 before the 50 was posted in the 11th over.
Johnson stroked Dutta for four and straight drove Heyliger gloriously back past his ankles for four before another majestic boundary finished off an expensive over.
Barnwell (9) fell to Dutta at 79-3 and Johnson was dismissed when well set on 37 at 96-4. It was the third time in five innings that the Jaguars skipper fell in the 30s and it was left to Reifer, the man for a crisis to once again dig his team out of a hole.
Reifer and Bramble joined forces in the 20th over with Jaguars needing another 110 for victory with six wickets in hand.
Bramble smashed Salam Nazar for four and deposited Gunasekera for six, while Reifer was more cautious with his shots but the partnership was getting the Jaguars back on track.
Bramble dumped Nazar for a four and a six, while Reifer executed a majestic cover drive off Sukhdeep Brar for four before falling to Dhaliwal at 175-5, while Adams (1) was bowled by Dutta at 178-6 and Canada were back in the game. But Reifer and Shepherd (12) took Guyana over to finish line.
The next round is set for tomorrow but Jaguars draw the bye and will return to action on Friday when they face the Volcanoes.
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