PCL: Jaguars remain second overall after draw with Hurricanes
SUMMARY: Guyana Jaguars 261 (Vishaul Singh 90, Raymon Reifer 43, Leon Johnson 35; Jeremiah Louis 4-50, Rahkeem Cornwall 4-90, Kian Pemberton 2-53) and 228-8 declared (Anthony Bramble 69, Johnson 63, Christopher Barnwell 40; Cornwall 3-99, Kacey Carty 2-28) drew with Leeward Islands Hurricanes 378-9 (Montcin Hodge 98, Amir Jangoo 90, Jahmar Hamilton 67; Veerasammy Permaul 4-98, Raymon Reifer 3-83) and 33-1 (Kieran Powell 12*, Hodge 10; Nial Smith 1-12)
Leeward Islands Hurricanes continue to prove a troublesome opponent for Guyana Jaguars as they managed to secure a draw at the National Stadium, Providence, at the weekend.
Hurricanes, given the improbable task of chasing 112 in 12 overs in the final hour, ended on 33-1.
The draw means Guyana Jaguars, five-time defending champions, remain in second position on the overall standing behind Barbados Pride.
While they could have made it an enterprising final session, openers Montcin Hodge and Kieran Powell chose the sedate option to bat for time; Hodge was leg before to Nail Smith, who had an unlucky match via some dropped chances.
What made the ultimate difference in the match was Hurricanes resistance in the first innings which got them a handy 117-run lead; at one point that lead looked good enough to secure an outright victory despite only 54 overs were possible on the rain-interrupted first day.
They ended the third day 355-7 and closed their innings on 378-9 since Sheeno Berridge was unable to bat due to injury.
Former West Indies Under-19 opener, Tevin Imlach, in just his second First-Class match, was snapped up first ball to Rahkeem Cornwall via a sharp low catch by substitute Akeem Saunders at forward short-leg.
Tagenarine Chanderpaul soon after was adjudged leg before, so too the in-form Vishaul Singh as the Test spinner had Jaguars in a precarious position of 24-3 in 12.2 overs, still needing 93 to make Hurricanes bat again.
Responsible batting from Leon Johnson and Christopher Barnwell settled the situation and took Jaguars to lunch at 72-3. Barnwell, who looked rock solid, fell after the interval after he struck three well-timed fours in his 40; he helped to add 73 for the fourth wicket.
The other significant stand came via Johnson and the up-tempo batting of Anthony Bramble which produced 97.
They occupied the crease with little headache and reached tea at 181-4. Johnson, who seems to have hit a purple patch, fell for 63 (10x4s) when he edged a wide delivery from Kacey Carty.
Carty’s gentle medium got both set batmen as Bramble lobbed a simple catch to short mid-wicket for 69 (8x4s).
Young Kevin Sinclair, who got another opportunity to score some much needed runs, had a chance-filled stint at the crease until he was beaten between bat and pad by off-spinner Terance Ward for eight.
After Veersammy Permaul edged to Ward at first slip for two, Jaguars declared with Raymon Reifer unbeaten on 13.
Given that leaders, Barbados Pride lost to Trinidad and Tobago Red Force by 147 runs, Jaguars have closed the gap marginally, by 30.2 points.
It means the day/ night match against Pride starting on Thursday from 14:00h at Providence, becomes a must-win clash for Jaguars, if they have any chance of securing a sixth straight title.
With West Indies players having no international commitments at this point, both sides are expected to be boosted significantly for the do-or-die fixture.