Skipper Leon Johnson fashioned a scintillating unbeaten 111 as Guyana Jaguars further consolidated their position with an overall lead of 302 runs, at stumps on the penultimate day of their sixth-round West Indies Cricket Board’s Professional Cricket League (PCL) Four-Day game against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force at the Guyana National Stadium.
The Jaguars were 244-4, in their second innings after they secured a first innings lead of 58 runs.Earlier, left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul produced a mesmerising spell,taking 5-65 to skittle out the hapless visitors for 179.
Johnson was dropped on two occasions, but he capitalised on the reprieves and his innings was a mixture of elegance and power as the 28-year-old looked determined from the start.
When the bails were lifted, Johnson had so far faced 175 balls in his 241 minutes at the crease. He struck 11 fours and a six, while Anthony Bramble is the other not out batsman on 39.
Johnson got good support from Tagnarine Chanderpaul (42) as the duo shared a 71-run stand for the third-wicket that really set the platform for the host.
Off-spinner Jon Russ Jagessar was the lone destructive force for the Red Force, claiming all four of the Jaguars second innings wickets so far.
Despite Permaul’s figures, the visitors proved architects of their own downfall,when they were skittled out during the morning session, in reply to the Jaguars’ total of 237. They managed to add just 43 in 27.3 overs.
Resuming at the overnight score at 136-3, and with a deficit of 101, the Red Force batsmen Yannic Cariah and Jason Mohammed continued their efforts, occupying the morning session for 33 minutes.
However, it needed a superb delivery from Permaul to dislodge the right-handed Cariah.
Cariah added just nine to his overnight 58, before he was caught at forward short-leg by Chanderpaul in the ninth over of the morning. His innings of 68 spanned 154 balls, inclusive of six fours and a six.
The Red Force predicament was accentuated by the dismissal of skipper Jason Mohammed. Permaul struck the big blow to the visitors’ hopes when he trapped Mohammed (30) leg before, immediately after Cariah’s dismissal, with one that kept straight after pitching.
Permaul continued with his classical exhibition of left-arm spin bowling that left the visitors bemused when he removed both Steven Katwaroo (1) and Rayad Emrit (0), thanks to sharp slip catches by Leon Johnson and Assad Fudadin, to complete his five-wicket haul.
Leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo then got into the act, removing Imran Khan without scoring and Marlon Richards for one at 173-9.
Bishoo (3-48), then completed the demolishon job by trapping Yannick Ottley for a fighting 13.
Batting a second time, the Jaguars openers, Chanderpaul and Rajendra Chandrika then negotiated the six overs before the luncheon interval to reach 21 without loss,
A lot was expected from the pair after the interval, but Jagessar was able to eject the promising right-hander, Chandrika for 22.
Things got better for the tourists when Jagessar had Assad Fudadin (0), caught off bat-pad at forward short leg without scoring, playing defensively forward to a delivery that spun sharply. Both wickets fell at 40.
The Red Force continued to bowl with discipline, but the flat pitch was unforgiving, and Chanderpaul and Johnson started the host’s revival.
Johnson was given a life on ten, but apart from that slice of luck, Johnson played with much comfort, mixing sound defence with aggression.
Chanderpaul, meanwhile, was calmly building his innings before rain intervened with the Jaguars on 74-2.
During the final session, the pair added a further 37 runs before Chanderpaul was dismissed in unfortunate manner for 42.
Chanderpaul pushed forward to a Jagessar delivery, and although silly mid-off was not able to take the catch, the ball rebounded to the short extra cover fielder, where Marlon Richards completed the offering.
First innings centurion Vishal Singh joined Johnson, and began in an attacking mood, hitting four sweetly timed boundaries before Johnson reached his 26 First-Class half-century from 98 balls, aided with four fours and a six.
However, a lack of concentration caused Singh his demise when Jagessar trapped him plumb in front for 23.
Johnson, who was also put down on 91, was in company with Anthony Bramble when he registered his third first-class ton from 162 balls, with ten fours and a six.
The pair then took the host safely to the close. Play resumes today at 09:30h.
(Taken from Guyana Chronicle)