On a day blessed with glorious sunshine, a laborious batting display by the Leeward Islands Hurricanes only delayed their inevitable defeat against tournament leaders the Guyana Jaguars on the penultimate day of their sixth round West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Four-Day Cricket Franchise match at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium yesterday.
The Hurricanes scored just 47 runs from 40 overs of which 22 were maidens and lost two wickets in a battle of attrition in the extended two and a half hour first session as night watchman Quinton Boatswain (18) and Sherwin Peters (46) added 48 for the second wicket in 150 minutes.
The last pair of Gavin Tonge (46) and Jeremiah Louis (17*) then featured in the second highest last wicket stand by the Leewards against Guyana of 65 to fall nine short of Kenny and Winston Benjamin’s record at Bourda in 1989 to rally the hosts from 135-9 to 200 all out.
Devendra Bishoo captured 6-82 from 30.1 overs to claim his 13th five-wicket haul at this level and move to second on the wicket takers list in the tournament with 30 scalps, while leading wicket-taker Veerasammy Permaul moved to 43 victims by grabbing 3-57 from 29 overs yesterday.
Set 73 for their fifth win in six matches, the Jaguars reached 73-2 to win by eight wickets with over a day to spare after losing Rajendra Chandrika (7) and Skipper Leon Johnson, who made 36 from 50 minutes with six fours and a six off Rakeem Cornwall before he tried the finish the contest with consecutive sixes and swiped a catch high to short third man to give Cornwall his eighth wicket in the one-sided contest. Opener Vishaul Singh batted with a level head to end undefeated on 22 from 77 minutes, while Narsingh Deonarine (4) was the other not out batsman for the Jaguars who extended their lead in the six-team tournament after six rounds.
Scores: Hurricanes (139 & 200), Jaguars (267 & 73-2).
Earlier, the Hurricanes, needing 128 to make the Jaguars bat again, resumed the day on 36-1, 92 runs away from avoiding an innings defeat and the overnight pair of Peters and Boatswain, who took 62 balls to score his first run, survived for two hours and 12 minutes yesterday before Boatswain’s vigil ended to break the 48-run stand.
After quiet period, Peters, who out of nowhere, straight drove Raymond Reifer to move from 32 after spending 77 minutes on 28, but the two men and a dog in the stands were fast asleep and missed the shot as the Jaguars bowlers started to show signs of frustration as the Hurricanes continued to score at pedestrian pace and brought up their 50 from 38 overs in 143 minutes.
A succession of maidens were bowled, Bishoo was introduced and after being hit for a boundary by Boatswain, had Boatswain caught under the bat for a dogged 18 from 131 balls and 150 minutes as the Jaguars finally reaped success at 76-2.
Bishoo quickly induced Montcin Hodge (1) to edge to Johnson at slip as the Hurricanes slipped to 80-3 just before Lunch. By the interval the 24-year-old Peters, who hails from the Island of St Maarten, was unbeaten two short of his second First –Class fifty with his team on 83-3 still 45 runs short of making Guyana bat again.
After Lunch Devon Thomas, who has played 21 ODIs looked positive and sweetly drove Deonarine through cover for four before going after Bishoo and dumping him one-bounce to the mid wicket boundary but when on 20 he provided Bishoo with his 27th wicket of the tournament to leave the score on 104-4.
It was soon 106-5 when Permaul seemed a bit fortunate to trap Peters LBW for 46 from 170 balls, 238 minutes with eight fours, while Jahmar Hamilton (3), Rakeem Cornwall (0) were both removed by Bishoo as the Leewards lost two wickets for four runs to slump to 119-7, while Permaul got rid of Akeem Saunders (21) and at 135-9, the contest was expected to be over before Tea.
But like in Jamaica when the last pair put together a Jamaican record last wicket stand of 84 and the best partnership in the first here was 33 by the last pair, the Jaguars again struggled ‘polish off’ the innings after doing all the hard work to remove the top order batsmen cheaply.
Tonge went to work on the hapless Jaguars bowlers with a murderous onslaught and got excellent support from Jeremiah Louis as they belted the ball to all parts of the ground on a track which offered prodigious bounce to the spinners to put together 65 in 30 minutes.
Tonge clobbered Bishoo for three sixes and cleared the boundary twice off Permaul before he was left stranded by Bishoo for Anthony Bramble to complete the stumping leaving Louis unbeaten on 17 from 57 minutes and 44 balls.
The team will get an extra rest day today before leaving for Barbados tomorrow where they face the Barbados Tridents in the seventh round from Friday as they move closer to claiming their seventh Regional title and first since 1998 when they shared it with the Leewards.
(Kaieteur News; by Sean Devers)