Simmons signals selectors with sparkling double

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – Lendl Simmons gave West Indies selectors plenty food for thought ahead of the Pakistan series next month when he pummelled a remarkable, unbeaten double century against Guyana yesterday.

The 26-year-old right-hander, ignored by selectors since the tour of Australia in early 2010, finished on 204 as Trinidad and Tobago piled up 434 for five declared on the second day of their final round match in the Regional First Class Championship at the National Stadium at Providence.

Off-spinner Amit Jaggernauth then grabbed three for 30 to leave Guyana struggling on 137 for five at the close, still 297 runs behind, with opener Rajendra Chandrika leading the fight with an unbeaten 77.

Valiant Effort! Guyana opener Rajendra Chandrika drives down the wicket during his resilient knock of 77 at the Guyana National Stadium yesterday. (Orlando Charles photo)

The day, however, belonged to Simmons who converted his overnight 134 into a third first-class double century.

In a typically positive innings, Simmons reeled off 12 fours and three sixes, facing 354 balls in just over eight hours at the crease.

He anchored two key partnerships that helped T&T dominate the Guyanese attack, extending his fifth wicket stand with Denesh Ramdin (62) to 138 before posting a further 72 for the sixth wicket with Imran Khan, who finished unbeaten on 37.

With T&T resuming the day on 291 for four, Simmons moved quickly to his 150 before celebrating with a boundary over long-off off off-spinner Steven Jacobs, Guyana’s most successful bowler with two for 96.

Ramdin soon reached his third half-century of the season but fell soon afterward at 362 for five, leg before to Jacobs after facing 112 balls in 163 minutes and striking five fours and a six.

Khan then joined Simmons to play a cameo, striking six fours off just 51 balls as T&T reached the lunch interval at 418 for five, with Simmons unbeaten on 190.

After the break, Simmons raised his landmark in style when he smashed off-spinner Narsingh Deonarine over long-on for six.

Chandrika and Leon Johnson (25) then put on 52 for the first wicket as Guyana started soundly but they lost five wickets for 38 runs as Jaggernauth and leg-spinner Imran Khan (2-47) sliced through the top order.

Johnson was lbw to Jaggernauth after spending nearly two hours at the crease and when the experienced Deonarine went in similar fashion to debutant leg-spinner Amir Khan for five at 61 for two, the innings slumped.

Chandrika held his ground, though, and has so far stroked 10 fours off 177 balls in 222 minutes batting.

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