Promising signs from all-rounder Rutherford
By Avenash Ramzan
While West Indies Under-19 hero Keemo Paul has been constantly grabbing the headlines with some telling performances, especially with the ball for Guyana Jaguars, another young all-rounder Sherfane Rutherford has been quietly making a mark in his first full season of regional First-Class cricket.
The 19-year-old, an ex-Guyana youth player, possesses an abundance of talent, and the selectors rewarded him with a place in the Guyana Jaguars team for the final game of the 2016-2017 season against the Windward Islands Volcanoes at Providence.
Eleven runs in his lone knock and bowling figures of 0-24 and 1-26 represent a quiet debut, but there was the popular belief those numbers would improve once the opportunities were granted.
And so they did when the Demerara Cricket Club player was named in the Guyana Jaguars squad for the 2017-2018 season- a decision that brought immediate success.
Scores of 45 and 16 not out in the opening game against Jamaica Scorpions at Providence was followed by career-best figures of 6-32 and a maiden half-century against Windward Islands Volcanoes in Gros Islet, and two more wickets in the second innings.
In Basseterre, the right-arm seamer and left-handed batsman followed up his 3-94 with scores of 32 and 22 not out, his second innings effort helping to take the Jaguars to safety- earning a draw- after they were forced to follow-on against Leeward Islands Hurricances.
In seven games this season, Rutherford has chalked up 239 runs at an average of 29.88 and picked up 19 wickets at 20.26, playing a vital role in Jaguars being the only unbeaten team at the break of the Professional Cricket League Four-day tournament.
The Jaguars, three-time defending champions of the competition, are on course for a fourth consecutive title, having accumulated 118 points, way ahead of second place Barbados Pride on 75.2, and Rutherford would no doubt want to play his part and be among the players lifting the trophy when the competition concludes in January.
Jaguars are slated to play hosts Jamaica Scorpions from January 4-8; hosts Barbados Pride from January 11-14; and return home to face Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in the final round from January 18-21.