Feb 21, 2021 Sports
Jaguars suffer 1st loss despite Hemraj’s 80
Kaieteur News – A mesmerizing nine-over spell of leg-spin bowling with yielded five wickets and cost just 32 runs from 36-year-old Imran Khan, with support from left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein who took 2-25 from six frugal over sank Guyana Jaguars to 187 off 41.5 overs after Chanderpaul Hemraj and debutant Tevin Imlach had featured in a 107 opening stand.
Hemraj stroked an 84-ball 87 after reaching the boundary five times and clearing it on six occasions, while Imlach’s 38 lasted 57 balls and included three fours and a six.
But both batsmen gifted their wickets due to poor shot selection as nobody else reached 13.
The Red Force kept their unbeaten record intact by reaching 189-4 in 40.2 overs to win by six wickets to register their fifth consecutive win and top the points table as they head into the semi-finals.
The 32-year-old stand in skipper Darren Bravo hit six fours and a six from 77 balls in his second fifty of the tournament and 37th in List ‘A’ cricket from 172 games with an elegant 58.
Bravo shared in a 112-run third wicket stand with the tournament’s top performer with the bat Mohammed, who reached the boundary eight times in an unbeaten 82 from 116 balls.
Nicholas Pooran with a cameo 18 from nine balls with a four and a couple of sixes and Denish Ramdin’s unbeaten 17 with two fours and sixes also contributed with the bat for the pre-tournament favorites.
Left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie took 2-36 from 10 overs to move to the top of the wicket-takers list with 11 scalps.
When Red Force began their reply under a clear night sky and no fans in the stands due to the Covid-19 protocols, Evin Lewis,with a century and fifty in this tournament, got off the mark with a four off Kevin Sinclair but was trapped LBW in the same over at 4-1.The left-handed Kjorn Ottley (4) was sent packing by the lively Nail Smith at 15-2 and the Jaguars were fighting back.
However, Bravo joined Mohammed, the leading run-scorer in the tournament, to orchestrate a major recovery and frustrate a Jaguars attack trying to defend their small target.
Mohammed swept Motie delightfully for four to post his 21th List ‘A’ 50 with his fifth boundary before moving into the 60s with a glorious straight push off Shepherd.
Bravo, who has seven tons in List ‘A’ cricket, executed several classy shots and soon reached his 37th fifty in List ‘A’ cricket off his 69th ball which also brought up the 100 partnership. He celebrated with a gorgeous six off Shepherd.
But with the score on 127-3 in the 30th over, Bravo skied Motie to Shimron Hetmyer at mid-off.
Pooran got going with a disdainful six and hit Motie for a boundary just out of the reach of a diving Shepherd who injured his shoulder in his effort to take a catch at long-on and was forced to leave the field.
In windy and cold conditions, Pooran pounced on a short ball from Smith like a cat upon a mouse and pulled him for six over square-leg before charging Motie and being left stranded as Anthony Bramble did the rest at 155-4.
Ramdin joined the 32-year-old Mohammed and ended the contest with back-to-back boundaries off Keon Joseph, the first one clearing the boundary.
Earlier, the Jaguars strengthened their team with Leon Johnson, fully recovered from a strained hamstring, returning as Captain after missing the last game against Jamaica, Imlach replacing the out of form Assad Fudadin at the top of the order and pacer Keon Joseph,who replaced Jamaican born off-spinner Ramaal Lewis.
Imlach played the supporting role to the left-handed Hemraj as they provided the Jaguars with a solid opening partnership and after the 10-over power-play the South American Franchise were going at just over six runs per over on the small ground on a good track.
Imlach, who got going with a swept boundary, looked very organized in his first match and without taking any risks, worked the ball around and was the perfect foil for Hemraj who batted with plenty of positivity and took the attack the bowlers.
Hemraj, who has played six ODIs but none since October 2018, played an array of dismissive pulls and back foot punches through the off-side as Red Force, who rested Skipper Kieron Pollard, Ravi Rampaul and spinner Sunil Narine, struggled to make a breakthrough.
Hemraj, with two tons from 37 List ‘A’ games, was not afraid to go over the top and reached his third fifty at this level, while Imlach, a former West Indies U-19 batsman, grew in confidence as his innings progressed and increased his strike with a couple of fours and an effortless six.
The pair reached the 10th century stand for the tournament and second for Guyana following Johnson and Chris Barnwell’s effort against the Leewards Volcanoes, but with the score on 106 in 20.4 overs Imlach missed an unnecessary swipe at left-arm spinner Khary Pierre and was bowled.
Hetmyer got going in typical ultra-aggressive fashion with a powerfully hit boundary over wide mid-wicket, while Hemraj continued to play confidently as the partnership quickly progressed to 22 before Hetmyer, the highest paid IPL Guyanese player, fell for 10 at 128-2 in the 25th over.
Hetmyer, who blasted an explosive 80 from 53 balls with eight fours and fours sixes against Barbados, drilled Khan brainlessly to Pierre at long-off as he departed with just 100 runs from four innings.
When Hemraj edged an injudicious cut at a ball too close to him off a googlee from Khan to Keeper Ramdin at 143-3, the floodgate were wrenched open as the Jaguars lost their last eight wickets for 45 runs.
Johnson (3) with a century against the Volcanoes was stupendously taken right-handed at a slip by Pooran as he pushed forward to a flipper from Khan, who celebrated his 50th List ‘A’ game with his maiden 5-wicket haul, as Jaguars slipped to 151-4.
Four runs later, Anthony Bramble (3) danced down the track to Khan and was stumped before Barnwell with a ton in his last game, edged pacer Anderson Phillip to Ramdin for 12 as the Jaguars slumped to 158-6.
Only Romario Shepherd (12) and Kevin Sinclair (11) of the remaining batsmen got into double figures as the last four wickets tumbled for just eight runs.
The Jaguars, already qualified for the Semis, play their final preliminary round game tomorrow when the face-off with the Windwards Hurricanes at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in their only day game which starts at 09:30hrs.
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