By Akeem Greene
Guyana Jaguars continued their phenomenal run in the WICB/Professional Cricket League (PCL) Four-day competition, as they defeated the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force by 105 runs on the final day at the National Stadium, Providence, to extend their unbeaten run to 13 matches.
Set 303 for victory, Red Force folded for 197 with West Indies left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul snaring 4-45 to end with a match haul of 9-110.
The Guyana Jaguars ended day three on 244-4 with captain Leon Johnson on 111 not out and Anthony Bramble on 39 not out, and declared on the overnight score, affording themselves a maximum of 98 overs on the final day to bowl out Red Force.
In a surprise change to the batting order, Imran Khan was promoted to open the batting along with Kyle Hope (08), but the make shift opening pair did not last long, as in the fourth over left-arm seamer Raymon Reifer disturbed the stumps of Hope to leave the score at 16-1.
It then became 21-2 when right-arm fast bowler Keon Joseph bowled a beauty and rocked back the off-stump of Khan for 10.
The wickets continued to tumble as the first innings’ top scorer Yannic Cariah was caught at forward-short leg by Tagnarine Chanderpaul for nine off the bowling of Permaul.
Captain Jason Mohammed (02) soon fell, caught behind to Permaul, followed by Yannick Ottley for 10 as the Red Force slipped to 75-5 from 26.3 overs.
The incoming Evin Lewis, who tempered his instinct to be aggressive, along with Narsingh Deonarine, stemmed the flow of wickets and took their side to lunch at 101-5 from 35 overs with Lewis on 16 and Deonarine 39.
Left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie struck in the first over after lunch, when he got Lewis to turn a ball off his pads and into the hands of Chanderpaul at forward short-leg for 16 (37 balls; 3x4s, 1×6) to put the Red Force in further trouble at 101-6 in 40 overs.
Wicketkeeper Steven Katwaroo (19). who played a lovely “inside-out” shot over extra-cover for four, later patted an ordinary ball straight back to Motie as the Red Force were further reduced to 127-7.
The left-handed Deonarine weathered a testing spell from Joseph, who was operating on a channel just outside the off-stump, and occasionally tested his fellow Berbician with the shorter ball on a docile pitch. That ploy clearly made the batsman extremely uncomfortable.
The bowling change of Reifer for Joseph at the Media Centre End saw Deonarine easily punching the left-arm seamer straight back down the ground for four to bring up his 46th First-Class half-century from 134 balls with four fours. Permaul came back into the bowing attack and got Deonarine driving to a full ball outside the off-stump and he it straight into the hands of substitute fielder Robin Bacchus at extra cover.
The 32 year-old Deonarine who last played for West Indies in 2013 against New Zealand, made 57 off 141 balls with five fours, spending 201 minutes at the crease as the Red Force now were 147-8 from 56.5 overs.
All-rounder Rayad Emrit began playing a series of brutal shots off the spinners in a wildly entertaining innings of 48 from 51 balls, inclusive of nine fours.
Emrit soon hoisted Bishoo to Joseph at long-off to put Red Force at 187-9, as Jaguars were now one wicket away from a massive victory. Marlon Richards pushed tentatively forward to Permaul to give the spinner his fourth wicket of the innings and hand the Jaguars to the hard-fought victory just before tea.
This victory meant the Jaguars are on 101 points and continue to hold a handsome lead over second place Barbados Pride on 82 points. Guyana Jaguars will next play Barbados Pride at the Kensington Oval, starting on Friday. (Guyana Times)