PCL four-day practice match….Johnson’s XI win by 9 wickets

Leon Johnson’s X1, led by a four-wicket haul from 20-year-old Gudakesh Motie defeated Robin Bacchus’ X1 by nine wickets on the third day of their final PCL four-day practice match which ended at the Providence Stadium on Wednesday.

In bright sunshine, Johnson’s X1 resumed on 201-5 with Shiv Chanderpaul on 53 and Raymon Reifer on seven and lost Chanderpaul after adding seven to his overnight score when he was removed by left-arm spinner Anthony Adams at 217-6.

Refier (21) soon fell to pacer Raun Johnson at 234-7, while Ronsford Beaton got rid of Chris Barnwell (27), Steven Jacobs (0) and Akshaya Persaud (7), while Anthony Bramble (19) ran out of partners.

The pace trio of Beaton (3-41), Johnson (2-31) and Paul Wintz (2-38) were the main wicket takers for Bacchus’ X1 who started their second innings with a deficit of 136 runs and fell for 169, leaving Johnson’s X1 34 to win in a day and 45 minutes.

They reached 34-1 in 8.4 overs as Assad Fudadin (12*) and Skipper Johnson (7) were the not out batmen after Shemron Hetymer (11) who steered Wintz for four and pulled Johnson for six, was LBW to Johnson at 19-1.

Earlier, Jevon Searles, who hit eight fours and a couple of sixes in a 69-ball 60 before he was run out to end the innings, shared in a 61-run stand with number 10 batsman Steven Sankar, who struck three sixes and two fours in 35 from just 28 balls, rescued their team from 95-8.

Former West Indies under-19 left-arm spinner Motie bowled beautifully as he produced teasing flight and extracted turn from a dry track to bag 4-53 from 20 overs to stake a claim for a First-Class debut next week Friday when the Jaguars begin their title defence at Providence against the Windward Islands Volcanoes.

Motie has been representing Guyana at youth level for over a decade and after yesterday’s crafty spell, could sneak past Raj Nannan and Adams for the spot left vacant by Test spinner Veerasammy Permaul, who could miss the first two matches due to an ankle injury.

Both Keon Joseph and left-arm seamer Refier bowled with good control with the new ball.

Refier trapped Tagenarine Chanderpaul (5) and bowled Bacchus (4) with a beauty that came back into the left-hander to leave Bacchus’X1 on 9-2.

West Indies U-19 selectee Tevin Imlach (11) and Kandasammy Surujnarine (15) carried the score to 30 before Surujnarine, willing to use his feet to the spinners, fell to a good catch over his head by Jacobs at mid-off as he was deceived by Motie before Kevin Boodie was stumped off Motie for a duck at 36-4.

Imlach stroked Reifer with consummate ease to the extra-cover boundary to move into double figures before he was LBW to Chris Barnwell at 60-5 and by Tea Bacchus’ X1 were 67-5.

Motie dragged Keemo Paul (15) out of his crease to have him stumped at 72-6, while Barnwell (2-32) struck again when Kemol Savory (5) was bowled.

Thirteen runs later Dexter Solomon (9) failed to get to the pitch of one that turned away from him and he was taken at cover by Fudadin to leave the score on 95-8 and his team in danger of an innings defeat.

But Searles showed that he has all-round ability with a confident half-century and found a useful partner in Sankar as both batsmen counter-attacked nicely to frustrate the bowlers.

Searles danced into Motie, lofted him for a couple of fours. The Bajan dumped Barnwell for six, whipped him for four, while another boundary off Barnwell meant his over had gone for 14.

Sankar then clobbered Motie over long-on to get off the mark with a six before Searles turned his attention to Joseph. He sliced the Berbice pacer for four, pulled him to the boundary when he bowled short before he stroked two more fours past mid-on in an over which cost 16.

Sankar joined in the fun and smashed Joseph through cover and dispatched Motie for two sixes to ensure that Johnson’s X1 had to bat again. Searles edged a mighty swing at Jacobs and was dropped at slip on 49 before Sankar brutally hit Jacobs over his head for four, after which he was bowled by Jacobs. Searles, who reached his 50 from 64 balls, was then run out.

(Taken from Kaieteur News)