It was another day of hard work for the batsmen yesterday on a sluggish Providence track on the penultimate day of the second and final four-day practice match to select the Guyana Jaguars team for the inaugural West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Professional Cricket League Regional Four-Day Franchise Tournament which starts on November 14.
West Indies leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo just back from the Sri Lanka ‘A’ team series immediately made his presence felt by removing Tagenarine Chanderpaul (12) and first innings centurion Shemron Hetmyer (7) in quick succession just before the close to leave Vishaul Singh’s X1, who enjoyed a lead of 56, on 31-2 in their second innings and the game in the balance.
Test left-hander Narsingh Deonarine fought diligently for four hours and six minutes for a dogged 65 (7×4) from 175 balls to lead Johnson’s X1 to 293 all out just after resuming the day on 106-4.
Singh’s X1 made 349 in their first innings and have an overall lead of 87 with an entire day to play on a track on which horizontal batting shots and back foot punches have been more productive than drives because of the variable bounce and slowness of the surface.
The day began in sultry conditions with Deonarine and the more aggressive Chris Barnwell extending their fifth wicket stand to 76 with careful batting against a spin attack which got plenty of assistance from the two-paced pitch before Barnwell lofted off-spinner Royston Crandon to long-on to leave the score 172-5.
Barnwell, two overnight, fell just before Lunch for 42 (5×4). Although Deonarine was not at his fluent best he survived a tough morning period and by Lunch had added 28 to his overnight 23 to be unbeaten on 51 by the interval from 220 minutes and 157 balls.
From a Lunch-time score of 187-5, Johnson’s X1 were ‘tied down’ by off-spinner Steven Jacobs, left-arm spinner Raj Nanan and leg-spinner Amir Khan. The battle of attrition continued in the second session as Bajan left-handed all-rounder Raymond Reifer, the only overseas player in the team, joined Deonarine and the six men and a dog in the empty stands must have been desperate to see more shots being played under a clear blue sky.
Reifer never suggested permanence and soon edged a catch to wicketkeeper Jason St Clair off Khan after struggling to get the ball off the ‘square’ in his nine and Johnson’s X1 were 197-6 but with Deonarine still there and a strong tail to come, there was still hope of the batting side overhauling the challenging total.
However, when Deonarine drove six feet seven inch pacer Raun Johnson to mid-off at 203-7, he had made 65. He was soon followed by Jonathan Foo (5), LBW to left-arm spinner Anthony Adams, who was belatedly introduced into the attack and the score was 223-8.
Anthony Bramble and Veerasammy Permaul revived the position and played more shots than the other batsmen. They took the score to 269 before Permaul (28) pulled Jacobs to deep mid-wicket and by Tea Johnson’s X1 were 279-9. Nanan trapped Bishoo LBW for eight, leaving Bramble unbeaten on 43 with four fours. Jacobs finished with 3-53 from 29 overs while Nanan supported with 3-74 from 28.5.
When Singh’s X1 began their second innings Permaul opened the bowling with Keon Joseph who only bowled three overs before Bishoo was introduced in the eighth over to operate in tandem with Permaul in an all Albion spin attack.
Taignarine Chanderpaul (12) was completely befuddled by Bishoo and bowled ‘through the gate’ at 19-1 before Bishoo, who bowled with excellent control bowled Hetmyer (7) when the 17-old missed a pull at one that kept low off the final ball of the day.
Bishoo has so far taken 2-10 from 6.5 overs and could prove the architect of destruction when play on the final day resumes at 09:30 today.
(Taken from Kaieteur News, by Sean Devers)