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Crandon pleased with Jaguars’ winning start

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By Avenash Ramzan

Guyana Jaguars Head Coach Esaun Crandon said while he is generally pleased with his team’s positive start to the West Indies Cricket Board’s Professional Cricket League Digicel Four-day competition, there is one major area of concern heading into the next round.

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 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. Speaking to News Room after the game, Crandon said the win is the perfect start to a long season.

“Winning the first game, like I would have said in previous interviews, would be an ideal start for us. I must say well played to the batters. I thought we batted well in both first and second innings, so we were able to put ourselves in a position to attack the opposition when the bowlers had the chance to bowl,” Crandon reflected.

He continued, “I thought the bowlers did well to pick up 20 wickets throughout the four days…[Veerasammy] Permaul in particular and young [Gudakesh] Motie I thought bowled well in tandem and were well supported by young [debutant Eon] Hooper, he didn’t pick up a wicket, but I thought he bowled well. Young [Keon] Joseph and [Raymon] Reifer also did well.”

Guyana Jaguars Head Coach Esaun Crandon being interviewed by New Room's Avenash Ramzan
Guyana Jaguars Head Coach Esaun Crandon being interviewed by New Room’s Avenash Ramzan

Despite the victory, which has given the Jaguars 17.8 points, Crandon is keen on improving one major aspect of the team’s performance going forward, as they look to make a successful defence of a title they have won two years on the trot.

“Definitely we want to improve on our fielding. We put down a couple of catches in the latter part of the second innings. That’s an area we want to rectify going into the next game,” Crandon stated.

The Head Coach also wants his batsmen to convert their starts into hundreds. Four batsmen- Rajendra Chandrika (86), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (91), Leon Johnson (69) and Vishaul Singh (71)- were among the runs in the opening round.

Meanwhile, Blackwood’s 96, which spanned 223 balls and included 13 fours and two sixes, was the lone bright spot for the Scorpions on the final day.

Bowling for Jaguars, Motie led the way with 4-35 off 30 overs, 15 of which were maidens. Fellow left-armer Permaul bagged 3-63 off 29 overs to finish with eight wickets in the match, while Joseph claimed 3-18 off 9.2 overs.

The Guyana Jaguars next match is against Leeward Islands Hurricances, starting on Friday in Basseterre.

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