Jaguars crush Scorpions despite Blackwood’s 96

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By Avenash Ramzan

Defending champions Guyana Jaguars pulled off a spectacular 181-run win over Jamaica Scorpions in rapidly fading light on Monday afternoon to start their quest for an unprecedented three consecutive West Indies Cricket Board’s Professional Cricket League Digicel Four-day titles at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.

Chasing an improbable 329 for an outright win, Scorpions were dismissed for 147 when West Indies A team fast bowler Keon Joseph produced a vicious short delivery that was well-directed to a set Jermaine Blackwood.

All the right-hander could do was take evasive action, but he was done in for pace as he gloved a catch to wicketkeeper Anthony Bramble, falling four short of what would have been a well-deserved hundred with just 2.4 overs remaining in the match.

Final scores: Guyana Jaguars 298 and 238-4 declared; Jamaica Scorpions 208 and 147 all out.

Guyana Jaguars celebrating a wicket on the final day
Guyana Jaguars celebrating a wicket on the final day

Resuming on a precarious overnight position of 9-2, Scorpions faced an uphill task to draw the match, much less emerge with a win.

That proposition became increasingly glaring when they were reduced to 38-5 with Trevon Griffith (13), Jason Dawes (03) and Andre McCarthy (02) joining John Campbell (01) and Devon Thomas (03), who were dismissed the previous afternoon, back in the dressing room.

Soon after, a downpour sent the players scurrying off the field with the visiting team wobbling on 47-5. While the precipitation came as a reprieve for the men from Reggae island, it was the most the frustrating occurrence against the run of play for Leon Johnson’s men.

Jermaine Blackwood drives down the ground during his fighting knock on Monday at Providence
Jermaine Blackwood drives down the ground during his fighting knock on Monday at Providence

Play resumed at 14:10h after three hours and 15 minutes were lost, and according the match officials’ calculations, a total of 42 overs were slated to be bowled before the close of play, including the mandatory 15 in the last hour.

Blackwood and Chadwick Walton resumed after the break and they made a concerted effort to keep the Jaguars bowlers at bay, shirking their ability to be free-scoring.

They added 54 for the sixth wicket, a partnership that spanned 30.2 overs and one that was clearly starting to frustrate the Jaguars, whose captain Johnson swung his bowlers around in a desperate attempt to separate the pair.

Gudakesh Motie bowls with the fielders lurking for a close catch
Gudakesh Motie bowls with the fielders lurking for a close-in catch

Success came when left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie trapped Walton leg before for 13 (81 balls, 1×4) at 92-6. It proved a crucial blow, as the Scorpions lost their last four wickets for 55 runs, despite a deliberate attempt by the batsmen to employ time-wasting tactics during the final hour.

Blackwood’s 96 spanned 223 balls and included 13 fours and two sixes. Bowling for Jaguars, Motie led the way with 4-35 off 30 overs, 15 of which were maidens. Fellow left-armer Veerasammy Permaul bagged 3-63 off 29 overs, while Joseph claimed 3-18 off 9.2 overs.

For his eight wickets in the match, Permaul was named Man-of-the-Match. Jaguars took 17.8 points, while Scorpions had to settle for 4.5.

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