Centurion Johnson leads Jaguars to victory over Hurricanes
Captain Leon Johnson hobbled to his second List A hundred as Guyana Jaguars won their second game on the bounce with a five-wicket victory over Leeward Islands Hurricanes in the Regional Super50 Cup on Friday night.
With his side on 233 for five in pursuit of 245 at Coolidge Cricket Ground, Johnson sprinted a short single with Romario Shepherd in the 47th over, but immediately went down clutching his leg, and required on-field treatment.
On 90, he resumed his innings, pulling the next delivery – a rank long hop from medium pacer Devon Thomas – for four and then painfully jogging a single off the last delivery of the over to move to 95.
He hobbled a couple in the next over from West Indies leg-spinner, Hayden Walsh Jr, before reaching three figures when Terrance Warde at short fine leg mis-fielded a sweep off the third ball, and gifted a boundary.
Jaguars reached their target soon after with 13 balls to spare.
“It was good to see the team home even though I was in a bit of discomfort,” said Johnson, who finished unbeaten on 104 off 123 deliveries and struck a dozen fours and one six.
“It’s a bit sore actually. It’s just some cramps. I have to get some ice and some tablets. I don’t think it is a [tear].”
Johnson posted a pivotal 101 for the fifth wicket with veteran all-rounder Chris Barnwell who played an invaluable innings with 49 off 52 balls, before adding a further 54 in an unbroken sixth wicket partnership with Shepherd (17).
Out-of-favour West Indies left-hander, Kieran Powell, had earlier missed out on three figures with 94 while his opening partner Ross Powell – of no relation – carved out 61, as Hurricanes posted an inadequate 244 for nine off their 50 overs.
The pair put on 152 for the first wicket but once they were separated, left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie (4-45) and seamer Niall Smith (3-47) ran through the innings.
“I think we were about 30 runs short. The wicket was a little tacky at first but I still think we should have scored 285, 290,” captain Thomas said afterwards.
“We need to go back to the drawing board and see what we can come with next match.”
Kieran Powell belted four fours and sixes off 97 deliveries while Ross Powell extended his consistent run with eight fours in a 99-ball knock, before holding out to deep mid-wicket off Motie at the end of the 31st over.
With his sixth List A hundred within grasp, Kieran Powell drove a wide delivery from Motie to Johnson at cover in the 33rd over.
Only Thomas thereafter, with 24 off 31 balls, showed any enterprise but he was one of four wickets that perished for eight runs off 10 balls towards the end.
In reply, left-handers Chandrapaul Hemraj (24) and Assad Fudadin (22) posted 45 off 52 deliveries for the first wicket before Guyanese left-arm spinner Ashmead Nedd (2-24) removed both, as three wickets tumbled for 31 runs, forcing Jaguars to rebuild.
And Johnson was at the heart of that effort, inspiring the century stand for the fourth wicket with Barnwell who smote three giant sixes and a four, to help Jaguars put their noses in front.
Fast bowler Sheeno Berridge accounted for Barnwell and Anthony Bramble (2) in successive overs to initiate a stumble at 191 for five in the 40th but Johnson and Shepherd kept their cool in the crucial half-century stand. (CMC)