Dec 27, 2019 Sports
Jaguars end with 5th consecutive title despite 3 defeats
By Sean Devers
Guyana Jaguars defeated T&T Red Force by six wickets on the third day of their final round Regional First-Class Championships to register a record equalling fifth consecutive title and 11th overall since Rohan Kanhai led Guyana to its first in 1973 this year.
The 53rd edition since 1966, commenced on December 6, 2018 and concluded on March 10, 2019 with Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, the Leeward Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Windward Islands vying for the title.
Ahead of the final round, Guyana had a 23-point lead over their nearest rivals, the Leewards, with the Islanders needing to score the maximum of 24 points in their last game to win the tournament.
Guyana were confirmed champions after the Leewards were bowled out for 90 runs in the first innings of their final match.
This season was not as smooth sailing as the Jaguars would have wanted; losing three of their 10 matches but still ending on 154.2 points, 20 more than second placed Barbados, while the Leewards finished third.
Johnson is the fifth Guyana Captain to win Regional First-Class titles; the others being Kanhai (1973), Clive Lloyd (1975 & 1983), Roger Harper (1987 & 1993) and Carl Hooper (2002).
Johnson has won five successive titles (2015-2019); one more than Nakita Miller’ four and equalled Jamaica’s five-year run from 2008-2012 after Chris Gayle led Jamaica in 2008.
While Devon Smith (745) scored the most runs and Rakeem Cornwall (54) took the most wickets, Anthony Bramble made 580 runs with two centuries and a fifty at an Average of 52.75 and had the most dismissals (43).
Veerasammy Permaul’s 42 wickets were only less than Cornwall’s 54, while Romario Shepherd’s 37 scalps were the most by a fast bowler in the tournament.
Tagenarine Chanderpaul (542), Johnson (480), Vishaul Singh (366), Chanderpaul Hemraj (350), Shepherd (315) and Chris Barnwell (307) were the Guyanese with 300 runs.
Permaul (42), Shepherd (37), Raymon Reifer (26), Clinton Pestano (22) and Keemo Paul (20) all reached 20 wickets.
Guyana’s 548 against Barbados in Barbados was the highest total of the tournament, while their 454-9 against T&T at Providence is the third highest total, while only the Leewards (470-8) and the Windwards (425) managed 400 totals.
However, despite Guyana’s four-day dominance, the only Jaguars’ players to play Test cricket in 2019 were Shimron Hetmyer and Paul, while Shepherd, Devendra Bishoo and Reifer played ODIs this year.
Rutherford played three T20Is and Bramble was selected in the West Indies T20 squad for the series against India but did not make the final eleven.
The Jaguars began their title defence with a 125-run win in St Lucia. Guyana made 223 with Singh scoring 74, while Windwards replied with 183 as Pestano got 4-46.
Chanderpaul then made an unbeaten 84 as Guyana declared at 310-4. The Windwards fell for 222 as took Permaul 3-56. Tevin Imlach made his debut in this game.
In Antigua, Leewards made 182 as Shepherd took 4-36, while Singh’s 90 rallied Guyana for 289 before Leewards managed 138 with Permaul taking 5-57.
Set 31 to win Guyana reached 32-1 to win by nine wickets in Antigua.
In their first game in 2019, in Barbados, Guyana made 548 with Hemraj making 144 before B’dos responded with 360 as Permaul had 4-124.
B’dos, following on, made 232 with Permaul taking 4-73 before Guyana reached 48-4 in 8.3 overs to win by six wickets.
Playing their first game in Guyana, the host beat the Windwards by eight wickets.
Guyana scored 454-9 declared with Bramble hitting 168 before Windwards responded with 209 as Paul had 6-57.
Windwards, following on, made 361 with Paul taking 4-72 for a 10-wicket haul.
Hetymer’s 61 led Guyana to 121/2 in 18.3 overs.
At Providence, Guyana lost by two wickets to the Leewards for their first loss.
Guyana made 196 with Barnwell scoring 58 before the Leewards replied with 175 as Pestano had 4-50 before Pestano returned with the bat to make 46 as Guyana reached 269.
The Leewards, led by 127 from Montcin Hodge reached 296-8 despite Permaul’s 4-43.
T&T beat Guyana beat Guyana by 93 runs in Port of Spain after being bowled out for 108 as Paul had 3-26.
Guyana replied with 150 as Paul hit an undefeated 66 from just 36 balls.
T&T made 317 in their second innings with Reifer getting 4-64 before Guyana were dismissed for 182 despite a 50 from Shepherd.
Back on home soil, Guyana returned to winnings ways with a seven-wicket win against Jamaica.
Jamaica made 358 as Sherfane Rutherford took 3-52.
Guyana fell for 321 as Singh made 61 before Jamaica were bowled out for 132 with Guyanese Assad Fudadin making 24. Gudakesh Motie had 3-11. Guyana reached 171-3 with Johnson unbeaten on 61.
Jamaica beat Guyana by eight wickets at Sabina Park in Jamaica after dismissing Guyana for 158 with Bramble making 36.
Fudadin’s 43 led Jamaica to 139 as Pestano had 4-31 before Guyana fell for 138 as Bramble again top scored with 34.
Jamaica reached 158-2 as Pestano 1/22 for five wickets in the match.
Guyana beat B’dos by seven wickets after the Bajans were wrecked for 76 with Reifer taking 5-20.
Reifer returned with an unbeaten 52 as Guyana made 201, while B’dos fell for 238 as Reifer took 4-22.
Guyana reached 118-3 with Hemraj leading the way with 51.
On March 9, 2019 Guyana beat T&T by six wickets at Providence to retain their title after bowling out the Trinis for 120 as Shepherd took 5-24.
Guyana made 165 with Bramble making 62 before T&T fell for 206 as Shepherd took 3-52.
Guyana reached 163-4 with Johnson leading his team to a fifth consecutive title with a match winning 76.
The Franchise system has played a huge role in Guyana’s success and preparation will begin today at Providence from 09:30hrs with the first of two practice matches prior to the Regional Four-Day tournament, scheduled to begin on January 9.
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