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SUPER50: Jaguars fall short against Pride in thriller

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A sterling effort by Guyana Jaguars proved fruitless in the end as unbeaten Barbados Pride pulled off a dramatic two-wicket win in the last over to ease into the semi-finals of the Regional Super50 on Sunday. Defending 187 in a low-scoring contest at 3Ws Oval, Jaguars rallied to take the game into the last over before succumbing to their third defeat with three balls remaining.

Pride seemed assured of victory at 119 for two in the 36th over but Barbadian left-seamer Raymon Reifer and fast bowler Ronsford Beaton scythed through the innings, triggering a collapse which saw six wickets tumble for just 61 runs.

With Pride needing six runs from the nerve-wracking last over bowled by Reifer, Jomel Warrican (two not out) got a single off the first delivery but Carlos Brathwaite (11 not out) failed to score off the second ball.

However, the West Indies Twenty20 star then cleared the ropes at long off with the third ball, to hand Pride an emphatic victory – their sixth on the trot in the competition which booked them their spot in the final four.

Shai Hope top-scored with 63 – his first score of merit in the series – while all-rounder Kevin Stoute, in for his first game stroked 51. Reifer led the Jaguars attack admirably with four for 46 while Beaton claimed two for 41.

The victory took Pride to 28 points while Jaguars, who started the tournament with two defeats but rebounded to win their next three games, remained on 13 points. Sent in earlier, Jaguars suffered a serious batting failure and could only muster a lowly 186 all out off 50 overs.

Veerasammy Permaul, batting at number nine, top-scored with 32 while opener Rajindra Chandrika struck 30 and wicketkeeper Anthony Bramble weighed in with 29. Ashley Nurse continued his wicket-taking form with three for 28 while fellow off-spinner Roston Chase (2-21) and seamer Jason Holder (2-42) finished with two wickets apiece.

Jaguars appeared to be cruising when Chandrika and Assad Fudadin (18) put on 58 for the first wicket before the rot set in and they lost seven wickets for 61 runs to slump to 119 for seven in the 37th over. Chandrika was fluent in his 43-ball knock which included six fours before he was bowled by Nurse in the 14th over and the left-handed Fudadin followed in the next over, caught at extra cover off Chase.

Captain Leon Johnson, who made 21, added 26 for the third with Chris Barnwell who scored six before he was run out at 86 for three in the 23rd over and with just one run added in the next over, veteran left-hander Shiv Chanderpaul was caught and bowled by Nurse for one.

With the innings collapsing, Permaul and Bramble combined in a 42-run, eighth wicket stand which helped Jaguars scrape past the 150-run mark. In reply, Pride lost the dependable Kraigg Brathwaite in the third over for three, nicking Reifer behind with 10 runs on the board.

Hope then inspired two partnerships to put Pride fully in control. First, he put on 60 for the second wicket with Stoute who struck five fours in a 61-ball knock before holing out to long-off leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo. Hope, who faced 129 balls and counted four fours, added a further 39 for the third wicket with Jonathan Carter who struck a four and a six in scoring 17.

When Carter swept left-arm spinner Permaul and was caught behind square by substitute Shimron Hetmyer, Pride suddenly went into decline losing a cluster of wickets, setting up a frenzied finish. (windiescricket)

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