PCL: Jaguars beat Hurricanes to maintain unbeaten run

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SUMMARY: Jaguars (417) & (4-0) beat Hurricanes (149) & (268 f/o) by 10 wickets in Providence, Guyana

Akeem Saunders hit his maiden hundred for Leeward Islands Hurricanes, but it failed to prevent table leaders and reigning three-time champions Guyana Jaguars from galloping to a 10-wicket victory in the Digicel 4-Day Championship on Saturday.

Saunders was the glue that held the Hurricanes’ second innings together after they were asked to follow on before it all became unstuck and allowed the Jaguars to complete their fifth victory of the season on the third day of their seventh-round match at the Guyana National Stadium, leaving them sitting pretty for the duration of the long break for Christmas and New Year.

Saunders struck 12 fours and one six from 173 balls in a near 3 ¼ hour stay at the crease to anchor the Hurricanes’ second innings. He shared successive half-century stands with Shane Burton and wicketkeeper/batsman Jahmar Hamilton, but their efforts were not enough to save the Hurricanes.

Burton supported with 53 and Hamilton, the Windies ‘A’ Team One-day captain in their recent home series against Sri Lanka ‘A’, made 23.

But Keemo Paul, the Windies 2016 Under-19 World Cup-winning all-rounder, led the demolition of the Hurricanes’ batting with 3-38 from 12.3 overs.

Fellow fast bowler Romario Shepherd, along with the left-arm spin bowling pair of Veerasammy Permaul and Gudakesh Motie collected two wickets apiece, as the Jaguars clinched victory and remained unbeaten for the season.

SUMMARY: Volcanoes (226-9 dec) & (283) vs Scorpions (112-9 dec) & 201-7 in Gros-Islet, St. Lucia

Devon Smith duly landed another Windies first-class batting record and the Windward Islands Volcanoes, led by Kyle Mayers, carried them to within reach of their first victory of the season against Jamaica Scorpions at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground.

Smith became the first batsman to score hundreds in each innings of a Windies first-class match twice in the modern era (1966 onwards), when he slammed 154 in the Volcanoes’ second innings to leave Scorpions with a victory target of 398. 

The veteran left-handed opener collected 13 boundaries from 279 balls in his close to six-hour stay at the crease which has carried his aggregate for the season to 873 – leaving him 195 shy of the single-season record set eight years ago by former Windies left-hander Narsingh Deonarine.

Smith completed a 90-run stand with Roland Cato that added beef to the Volcanoes’ total, but once the latter fell for 47, there was little stability from the rest of the batting with Smith typically controlling the tempo before he was the last man out.

Windies ‘A’ Team leg-spinner Damion Jacobs was the most successful Scorpions bowler, taking 5-51 from 22.5 overs, and fast bowling newcomer Christopher Lamont supported with 3-49 from 22 overs.

An opening burst from left-arm fast bowler Delorn Johnson condemned the Scorpions to a shaky start before Brandon King hit 88 and their captain Paul Palmer made 46, sharing 115 for the fourth wicket.

But Mayers bagged them both and later trapped Derval Green lbw for two, ending the day with 3-52 from 15 overs, to swing the match decisively.

SUMMARY: Pride (316) & 188-7 vs Red Force (214) in Tarouba, Trinidad

Similarly, their bowlers, led by veteran leg-spinner Imran Khan, gave Trinidad & Tobago a fighting chance after Denesh Ramdin hit his third hundred of the season against Barbados Pride at the Brian Lara Cricket Ground.

Ramdin, the former Windies captain and wicketkeeper/batsman, was undefeated on 132 that earned his side one batting point from their first innings, after they resumed from their overnight total of 145 for eight.

He completely dominated a ninth-wicket stand of 69 with Bryan Charles that would make the man whose name adorns the match venue proud and helped the Red Force to cross the 200-run mark.

Fast bowler Justin Greaves cleaned up Charles, for two, and newcomer Ricky Jaipaul with successive deliveries to end with 2-26 from 12.4 overs to bring Ramdin’s fun to a close and give the Pride a first innings lead of 102.

Pride suffered an early set-back, but their captain Shamarh Brooks, the Windies ‘A’ Team ‘Test’ captain in the recent home series against Sri Lanka ‘A’, came to the crease and put on 53 with left-handed opener Anthony Alleyne.

After Brooks was bowled by Barbados-born paceman Roshon Primus, Alleyne further consolidated with fellow left-hander Jonathan Carter before his dismissal, bowled by Khan, triggered a period of instability, as the visitors slid from 101 for two to 122 for six.

There was some resistance from the Pride in the final hour, led by Windies 2016 Under-19 World Cup-winning all-rounder Shamar Springer, not out on 38, which carried their overall lead to 290. 

Khan has so far taken 3-70 from 22 overs and off-spinner Charles has collected 2-56 from 23.1 overs.

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