By Sean Devers
On a day blessed with glorious sunshine, Guyana Jaguars Captain Leon Johnson lit up Bourda with a masterful unbeaten century to put GCC in a commanding position against UG on the opening day of the GCA’s GISE, Star Party Rental & Trophy Stall first division two-day cricket competition yesterday.
The team from the University of Guyana (UG) are handicapped by unusable condition of their ground and showed in their performance yesterday after they won the toss and were bowled out for a disappointing 47 from just 21 overs.
Pravindralall Persaud (10) was the only batsman to reach double figures as off-spinners Darrius Andrews had 4-12, while Renaldo Ali-Mohamed (3-7) and Stephan Wilson (2-5) supported for GCC who reached 357-8 by the end of the day, enjoying a lead of 310.
John, the Region’s most successful Captain with five consecutive First-Class titles for the Jaguars, was unbeaten on a commanding 153 from 130 balls with 12 fours and five sixes.
Robin Bacchus reached the ropes six times and cleared it thrice in his 86, while Jeetendra Sookdeo made 44, six fours and a six and together shared in an opening stand worth 126 runs.
Stylish 14-year-old West Indies U-19 right-hander Mavindra Dindyal then stroked an elegant 46 with a four and three sixes to further enhance his reputation as one for the future.
Omesh Danram has so far picked up four wickets for UG, who most of the day chased leather in sweltering conditions on a heavy outfield. Dwain Dodson has two wickets so far.
UG elected to bat, but once Godfrey Thaduredin (2) was bowled by Ali-Mohamed, who trapped Keon Roberts (7) and Omesh Danram, who was squared-up by one that left him as he nicked a catch to Johnson at first slip it was 15-3 and Ali-Mohamed on a hat-trick.
Carlos LaRose produced an in swinging yorker which sent Melroy Stephens’ (2) leg-stumped cartwheeling, UG were 15-4.
Persaud resisted but missed a big swing at Wilson was bowled at 31-5.
Andrews then removed Dwain Dodson (2), Linden Austin (8) and Devon Paul (0) in quick succession as UG slumped to 39-8 to eventually be all out well inside the opening session.
When GCC began their reply the left-handed pair of the burly Sookdeo and Bacchus attacked the bowling with an array of pugnacious shots in their century stand.
Watched by a small gathering which included on GCA officials, Sookdeo pulled Yekini Favourite for six and clobbered Linden Austin onto Regent Road before Bacchus hit Favourite for two delightful boundaries in three balls as they began like a house on fire.
Sookdeo played a tired looking shot and was caught at point at 126-1 to Danram the first of his four wickets.
Bacchus dumped Devon Paul over mid-wicket for six before launching into Danram and blasted him for back-to-back sixes into the Rohan Kanhai stand before he missed a big swing and was LBW to Dodson.
Dindyal, whose batting reminds many of Ramnaresh Sarwan, looked positive from the inception hitting three sixes before playing a majestic cover driven boundary off Danram.
He added 69 with his Skipper Johnson who was quick to pivot and pull Danram brutally for four like a bullet despite the sluggish outfield before the youngster was taken at cover as Danram struck 214-3.
Ali-Mohamed (1) fell a run later when he threw his wicket away; lobbing a catch to short-mid wicket off Lloyd George before Danram removed Deonarine Seegobin (4) and LaRose for a duck as the hosts slipped to 233-6.
Johnson reached his century with his eighth boundary, a commanding extra-cover drive off Persuad. He also hit three sixes and his ton took 100 balls.
Phillips (4) was dismissed by Dodson and Wilson (16) was run out towards the end of the day and Johnson might think off getting a double century or declare overnight.
Play on today’s final day is scheduled to commence at 09:00hrs.
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