PCL: Paul’s 10, Hetmyer’s blitz trump Edwards’ majestic ton

SUMMARY: Jaguars 454-9 dec (Anthony Bramble 161, Tagenarine Chanderpaul 117*; Josh Thomas 4-94) and 121-2 (Shimron Hetmyer 61) beat Volcanoes 209 ( Alick Athanaze 66; Keemo Paul 6-57) and 361 (Kirk Edwards 139; Paul 4-72) by eight wickets

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By Akeem Greene

All-rounder Keemo Paul produced splendid match figures of 10-129 which did the groundwork for Guyana Jaguars to crush Windward Volcanoes by eight wickets, despite a superb 139 by Kirk Edwards on the final day of the four-day clash at the National Stadium, Providence.

The win meant the defending champions completed their fourth consecutive victory of the 2018-19 Professional Cricket League (PCL) and could be well on their way to winning a fifth title on the trot.

Paul’s maiden 10-for bettered his previous best of 9-64 against the Volcanoes in 2017 and ensured the hosts only had to chase 117 for victory which they accomplished in blistering time by reaching 121-2 in 18.3 overs, compliments a swashbuckling 61 from 29 balls by IPL-bound Shimron Hetmyer.

Trevon Griffith, whose string of low scores continued, was bowled by Josh Thomas for 13, while Hetmyer fell to a well-judged catch on the ropes by Sherman Lewis after smashing five fours and six sixes, one which went high into the Green Stand.  His fifty came off 25 balls.

First innings centurion Tagenarine Chanderpaul and Leon Johnson were the unbeaten batsmen on 24 and eight respectively.

Earlier, Volcanoes stared at the possibility of a humiliating innings defeat, given they trailed by 76 with seven wickets remaining; they started the final day 167-3. However, Edwards, a discarded Windies player, ensured his side showed more fight and applied some pressure to the champions, batting 107.3 overs, close to double the overs they did in the first innings.

Shimron Hetmyer gave the sprinkling of spectators a treat in the second innings with a blistering 61

The Barbadian right-hander began the day on 40, an innings, which on the third day, mirrored watching paint dry, but gears changed on Sunday with a positive approach and the gain was a valuable stand of 64 for the fourth wicket with Kaveem Hodge.

After the Bajan reached his 10th First-Class ton with a massive six over long-off, Jaguars took the new ball in the 86th over and in the space of four overs, 41 runs were scored and it looked like there could be a twist in the tale.

Paul however, returned into the attack and immediately struck with one cutting Edwards for a plumb leg before. The enterprising rally contained 20 fours and two maximums.

Hodge did not capitalise and gifted Gudakesh Motie his first wicket of the match; Motie then snapped up promising talent Alick Athanze for a third ball duck.

The main lower-order resistance came from wicketkeeper/batsman Denis Smith with a stylish 67 (8x4s) until he was last to be dismissed via the run out route.

Diminutive in stature, the young lad from Grenada entered at 208-5 and pushed the total up to 361 via a counter-attacking partnership of 83 with Edwards.

Smith, who is the nephew of Test batsman Devon Smith, then flayed his wand with some delightful shots through the cover-point area. There was one in particular where he stood on his toes and pleasantly punched Paul throw extra for four.

Despite being dropped on 48 by wicket keeper Anthony Bramble, he reached his maiden half-century.

The Windies seamer then wrapped up the tail to end with figures of 4-72, added to 6-57 in the first innings; Motie took 2-62. Bramble was voted Man-of-the Match for this 161 in the first innings and six catches.

Jaguars now turn attention to Leeward Islands Hurricanes from Thursday (January 17). Play begins at 09:30h and admission to the venue is free.

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