By Sean Devers
A masterful 93 from veteran left hander Devon Smith was overshadowed by Chris Barnwell’s 89 as the Windwards Volcanoes were beaten by four wickets by the Guyana Jaguars last night in the final match of the first half of the Colonial Medical Cup Super50 at the Queen’s Park Oval to take them to 12 points.
The 38-year-old Smith returned to form with a magnificent 93 from 94 balls with 10 fours and a six and shared in half-century stands with Kaveem Hodge, who reached the boundary once in 24 and 77 with Emmanuel Stewart whose 51 lasted 52 balls and included three fours and two sixes.
Keron Cottoy who finished unbeaten on 45 from 28 balls with a four and four sixes, dominated an unfinished 50-run partnership with Shane Shillingford (12) to see the Volcanoes to 258-5 in their allotted 42 overs.
Veerasammy Permaul took 2-34 from nine overs, while Ronsford Beaton (1-40), Raymon Reifer (1-53) and Nial Smith (1-61) were the other wicket takers for the Jaguars, who won with four balls to spare when Ramaal Lewis lofted Bhaskar Yadram for six with five needed from five balls.
Barnwell led the chase with 89 from 84 balls with six fours and three sixes and featured in a 77-run stand with Chanderpaul Hemraj who contributed an attractive 40 from 42 balls aided by two four and two sixes.
The DCC right-hander who participated in the 2016 IPL, added another 53 with his Captain Leon Johnson who made a run-a-ball 34 decorated with five boundaries which included a six. Raymon Reifer also contributed with 45 from 49 balls with two fours and two sixes, while Jonathon Foo was not out on 17.
After Kemol Savory, who opened the batting with Hemraj after Tagenarine Chanderpaul was dropped, was bowled by pacer Shermon Lewis for four, the Jaguars were 8-1.
But Hemraj who rekindled the fire in him that was seen in the CPL and Barnwell, who looked accomplished in every game he has played this season, joined forces.
Barnwell lofted Lewis, who has played two Test matches for West Indies, for a couple of effortless sixes in an over that cost 16, while Hemraj whipped Lewis for six to post to 50 in the seventh over.
But when Hemraj, the only batsman in this team with a Regional 50-over hundred, was 10 short of his third fifty at this level, he was taken on their attempt by out-of-sorts Volcanoes Captain Kirk Edwards at widesh mid-wicket as left-arm spinner Larry Edwards broke the 75-run second wicket stand.
Johnson joined the well set Barnwell and batted with a positive mind set and got going with a couple of nicely timed boundaries.
Barnwell, the Jaguars leading run scorer, soon reached his ninth 50-over fifty from 49 balls before Johnson, who had dispatched a full toss from Cottoy for six got another full toss from the leg-spinner but could only find his countryman Bhaskar Yadram at long-on at 136-3.
Reifer was run out and Anthony Bramble, in his first game after recovering from a minor surgery to his head, played an impetuous swing with six runs to get, but Lewis’ six ensured the win.
Earlier, Jaguars, who left out Chanderpaul, Motie and Pestano, invited the Volcanoes to bat after the contest commenced 140 minutes late due to mid-day rain resulting in the overs being reduced to 42.
Smith and Darson Maloney got off to a rollicking start with Maloney clipping Ronsford Beaton behind square and hitting him over mid-on for consecutive boundaries.
Smith, with just 30 from his last three innings, dumped off-spinner Lewis, who shared the new ball with Beaton, over his head for four.
A spattering of spectators watched a Beaton removed Maloney for 24 with four boundaries at 37-1 in 5.2 overs on a slow track and damp and sluggish outfield.
The left-handed Smith, whose highest First-Class score of 212 was made again Guyana in Grenada, cut Reifer majestically for four when he bowled short and wide and hammered him for four off the next ball which had the non-striking taking evasive action.
Smith went after his unrelated namesake with brutal intent and cover drove him gloriously for four before driving him back past his ankles for bullet-like boundary to move to 49.
His 24th List ‘A’ fifty was brought up with a slap to sweeper and it took just 46 balls and was decorated with seven delightful boundaries.
Kaveem Hodge (24) whipped Reifer off his legs for four but he hit the next delivery to mid-on at 102-2 in the 21st over before Kirk Edwards’ poor form continued when got one from Permaul the bounced and turned and was at taken for a duck a run later.
Smith continued to feast on his favourite bowling attack; dancing into Lewis and hitting him for a one-bounce boundary over cover, while Stewart began with a Dilscoop off Permaul and a pull for four off Reifer.
Smith who has been playing at this level for two decades, deposited Reifer over his head for six before clobbering the expensive 23-year-old Smith for a massive six before he fell seven short of his 9th List ’A’ ton when he was taken at long-off as Permaul struck 187-4.
Stewart continued to play his shots before he was bowled by Smith just after reaching his second 50-over fifty to leave the score on 198-5 before Cottoy,who hit a long-hop from Foo for six, launched into Smith, who had problems gripping the ball.
Cottoy smashed the Berbician Pacer for consecutive sixes of the first two balls of the 39th over in which Smith leaked 18 runs before Shillingford dumped Hemraj for six.
Another Cottoy’s six brought up the 250 and the 50 stand between him and Shillingford and he celebrated with six more as Shillingford was left unbeaten on 12 from 16 balls, while Cottoy was also not out as 58 runs were scored in the last five overs.
The Jaguars face joint leaders West Indies Emerging Players tomorrow at the Queen’s Park Oval in another day/night fixture.
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