PCL: Hurricanes defy odds to defeat Jaguars

SUMMARY: Jaguars 196 (Christopher Barnwell 58; Rahkeem Cornwall 4-70) and 261 (Clinton Pestano 46; Cornwall 6-70) lost to Hurricanes 175 (Damion Jacobs 34; Pestano 4-50) and 296-8 (Montcin Hodge 127; Veerasammy Permaul 4-43) by two wickets

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By Akeem Greene

Rain, sickness and even bad light could not stop Leeward Islands Hurricanes from snatching a thrilling two-wicket victory over Guyana Jaguars in the Professional Cricket League Regional Four-day championship at the National Stadium, Providence, on Sunday.

In the top-of-the table, fifth round clash, Hurricanes were set a challenging target of 291 to achieve in just under a session and a day. Ending the third day on 37-1 and the threat of a confident Jaguars’ bowling unit, chances looked slim, but it was a case of never say never until the ‘fat lady sings’.

The calls for rain from the irate fans went unanswered, as they all stood on their feet and watch Jaison Peters smash Windies leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo for a massive six to seal the memorable win in the dying moments of the final day.

All over! Jaison Peters hits Devendra Bishoo for the winning six as captain Leon Johnson reacts to the defeat

It was literally the end, since the rain was close by, lights were fading and wickets were tumbling. It was goosebumps for any fan, but for the historians, it was the third occasion in the five seasons of PCL, Jaguars lost to Hurricanes – the only team to achieve such a record against the four-time defending champions.

Leading the charge was opener Montcin Hodge with a masterful 127 which essentially made the difference in the result.  Resuming on 16, Hodge put the risky shots away, played to areas of strength and got his second his ton of the season.

The right-hander incurred some troubles outside the off-stump to left-arm spinner Veersammy Permaul and simply put the cut and the languid drive away. His ton came off 285 balls and included eleven fours, however, the hallmark was the amount of time he occupied the crease, just over six hours.

Hurricanes’ captain Kieran Powell was a nervous soul in the dying moments of the contest

The second wicket stand with former Under-19 World Cup winner Kacey Carty grafted 153 runs. In context, it was combination which until tea was batting Jaguars out the match. The under-bowled Keemo Paul got the desperate breakthrough. Paul drew his former teammate forward and got the edge after well-complied 67.

That wicket opened the match to more possibilities given Akeem Saunders (9) and Terance Warde (25) fell in quick time. Warde fell chasing a wide one from Romario Shepherd, who then uprooted the stumps of potential dangerman Rakheem Cornwall for one. From 193-3 at tea, the visitors slipped to 224-5 and Jaguars’ tail were up in the final session.

Hodge and Peters began adding the icing to the cake with a valuable 61-run stand which changed the dynamics of the contest. The Anguillan smashed one back to Permaul to fall for 127, but Peters kept going.

Keemo Paul was one Jaguars’ bowler who gave it his all in search for wickets

Jaguars’ champion spinner Permaul then bowled Orlando Peters with a ripper and had Jeremiah Louis out soon after. Jaison Peters quelled the surge with an unbeaten 37 which came from just 39 balls and had four fours and the winning maximum.

Permaul returned figures of 4-43, while Shepherd and Paul had two wickets each in the losing effort.

All teams take a break this coming weekend and action will resume on January 31. Jaguars head to Trinidad and Tobago where they play Red Force at the Queen’s Park Oval.

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