Johnson’s 87 powers his team to 7-Wkt win in first NAGICO Super50 practice game

An excellently constructed 123-run third wicket stand between Leon Johnson (87) and Vishaul Singh (35) powered Johnson’s X1 to a seven-wicket win on the Duckworth/Lewis system against Robin Bacchus’ X1 yesterday at Providence in the first rain affected practice match for the NAGICO Super50 Tournament.

Johnson, the Guyana Jaguars skipper continued his good form from the PCL First-Class tournament with an entertaining 87 from 99 balls with five fours and two sixes and shared in a century stand with his Jaguars Vice-Captain Singh who retired out with nine runs needed for victory. His 35 was made from 54 balls and included two fours to see their team to a revised target of 180-3 from 35.1 overs, replying the 151-6 in 40-5 overs made by Bacchus’ X1.

The truncated game was twice interrupted by rain after Bacchus’ X1 chose to bat on a slow track and lush outfield and their left-handed Captain led the way with an entertaining 60-ball 66 decorated with 10 fours but only Jonathon Foo (28*) and Jeetendra Sookdeo (23) reached double figures as Left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul had 2-24 from his allotted 10 overs.

Bacchus, who played some lovely drives through the off-side and Tevin Imlach (9), added 40 for the first wicket before Imlach was caught behind off of Paul Wintz before Sookdeo who pulled Chris Barnwell for six was removed by left-arm seamer Raymon Reifer after adding 49 for the second wicket with Bacchus.

Bacchus was then dismissed by Permaul at 107-3 before two wickets tumbled at 110 when Royston Crandon (1) and Kandasammy Surujnarine (6), who was run out from a direct hit by Gudakesh Motie.

Rajiv Ivan (3) was trapped LBW by Steven Jacobs at 127-6 before Foo who looked good and Seon Hetymer (10) took their team to 151 before rain stopped play and ended the innings.

When the action resumed at 14:18 hrs Assad Fudadin, who stroked pacer Romario Sheppard majestically to the cover boundary and Kevin Boodie, who hooked Ronsford Beaton for six, were both removed to leave Johnson’s X1 on 48-2 as new ball bowlers Beaton and the lively Keon Joseph removed the openers.

Johnson and Singh joined forces before rain stopped play after 12 overs at 51-2 and when the game resumed the sun returned in all its glory.

Johnson rocked back and slapped Joseph behind point for a scintillating four before the left-hander cut Crandon elegantly for four and his innings was flowing.

Johnson was the dominant partner, while Singh intelligently maneuvered the ball into the gaps and rotated the strike nicely as their partnership flourished in sunny conditions.

Batting before empty stands, Johnson clipped left arm spinner Raj Nannan for six as both batsmen played with confidence and common sense; putting the fielders in the deep under pressure by running hard.

Johnson looked in sublime form and deposited Sheppard for six to move into the 80s, while Singh charged the pacer and blasted him back past his ankles like a bullet.

Johnson once again departed when well set for an unbeaten knock when he edged the impressive Joseph to the keeper at 171-3 at which time Singh retired ‘out’ to bring Barnwell and Reifer to the crease with nine required for victory.

Barnwell hammered Nannan for four to reduce the target to four which was duly knocked off.

The next practice match, a Day/Night affair, is set for tomorrow at the same venue and is scheduled to commence at 14:00hrs.

According to Chairman of selectors Rayon Griffith, the squad to go to St Kitts next month has been selected but will be announced after tomorrow’s game.

Guyana  will play the Windwards in their opening game on Thursday, 7th January, 2015.

(Taken from Kaieteur News)