FOUR-DAY: Chanderpaul, Hemraj and Johnson among the runs for Jaguars
Opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul was one of three batsmen who collected half-centuries to give five-time defending champions Guyana Jaguars a strong start to their defence of the Regional Four-Day title against Leeward Islands in Antigua on Thursday.
Similarly, West Indies left-hander Darren Bravo was one of three batsmen with half-centuries to lead a solid batting display from hosts Trinidad & Tobago Red Force against Jamaica Scorpions.
And, Kyle Mayers celebrated his debut for Barbados Pride with the first hundred of the season against his former side, Windward Islands Volcanoes in the West Indies Championship on Thursday.
The left-handed Mayers, playing his first match for his native Pride after spending the past four seasons with the Volcanoes, cracked his maiden first-class hundred (106) to lead a batting revival for the visitors on the first day of their first-round match in St. Vincent in the 2019-20 Championship.
Jaguars 210-4 vs Hurricanes at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground
The obdurate Chanderpaul batted almost 5-1/4 hours for the Jaguars’ top score so far of 60 from 240 balls that included seven fours.
He shared three successive half-century stands with fellow left-handed opener Chandrapaul Hemraj, his captain Leon Johnson and Vishaul Singh that dominated the Hurricanes attack.
The left-handed Johnson scored 59 and Hemraj made 52, and the Hurricanes endured a tough grind before the wickets of Chanderpaul and Singh, another left-hander, in the final hour lifted their spirits.
Pacer Colin Archibald has been the pick of the Hurricanes bowlers so far with 2-28 from 17 overs.
Red Force 241-3 vs Scorpions at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy
Choosing to bat, Red Force batted all day with the left-handed Bravo ending unbeaten on exactly 50.
Fresh off a half-century in the CWI President’s XI win over Ireland last Saturday in Barbados, Bravo again looked in great touch and has so far struck five fours and a six – the only of the innings – in a knock requiring 107 deliveries and lasting 2-½ hours.
Former West Indies Under-19 batsman Keagan Simmons has so far hit the top score of 89 on first class debut and left-handed opener Jeremy Solozano impressed with 73.
The only real bright spark of the day for Scorpions came in the eighth over of the day, when seamer Derval Green trapped Kyle Hope lbw for eight.
Red Force were 13 for one, but they batted in partnerships with Simmons anchoring two stands to ensure the hosts dominated proceedings.
Pride (233) vs Volcanoes at the Arnos Vale Cricket Ground
Sent into bat, Pride ran into trouble on 74 for seven after pacers Josh Thomas and Preston McSween undermined their top-order batting in their opening bursts.
But Mayers, batting at seven, came to their rescue with a three-hour knock that included six fours and four sixes off 122 balls.
Support came from only West Indies left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican with a defiant 49, batting at nine, and Justin Greaves got a start with 20, but failed to carry on.
Mayers breathed life into the innings by sharing a further 114 in an eighth-wicket stand with Warrican, whose 1 1/2-hour stay included three fours and three sixes from 81 balls.
Mayers reached his milestone in style, clearing the ropes at wide long-on with veteran off-spinner Shane Shillingford before he was the last batsman dismissed, caught in the deep off leg-spinner Keron Cottoy.
Cottoy was the most successful Volcanoes bowler, taking 3-41 from 10.5 overs, with Thomas, McSween and Shillingford all ending with two wickets apiece. (CWI)