Captain Leon Johnson and Vice-Captain Vishaul Singh weighed in with fifties as the Guyana Jaguars left the Jamaica Scorpions needing 329 runs with eight wickets remaining heading into the final day in round one of the 2016/17 Digicel Professional Cricket League (PCL) Regional 4-Day tournament.
Hosted at Providence, Guyana declared on 238-4 in their second innings after being bowled out for 292 batting first, mainly due to the century partnership by Johnson and Singh who failed in the first innings but made up with stylish knocks of 69 and 71, respectively.
Their century partnership was also reinforced by starts from openers Shimron Hetmyer (47) and Rajendra Chandrika (34).
Meanwhile, the Scorpions who were knocked over for 208 in their opening innings were left wounded at 9-2 batting a second time.
They lost first innings hero, opener John Campbell who had his stumps ruined by pacer Keon Joseph for 1 and Devon Thomas who was trapped LBW to become Veerasammy Permaul’s sixth victim of the match.
Guyanese-born opener Trevon Griffith (04*) and Jason Dawes (03*) will resume on day four for the Scorpions who will be under great pressure to survive. Playing under sunny conditions, Guyana began day three with Hetmyer and Chandrika laying a solid half-century opening stand which also stretched their lead past 150.
Hetmyer oozed fluency and looked set to reach his first fifty of the season before left-arm spinner Damion Jacobs induced an outside edge which carried comfortably to Nikita Miller at slip.
Guyana Jags were 73-1 when Johnson walked out to join Chandrika who had made it into the 30’s but the two West Indies Test openers weren’t allowed to cause any problems as the latter was found short of his ground upon a return throw from mid-wicket.
When lunch arrived, Guyana were 109-2 with a healthy lead of 199 and two of their best batsmen in Johnson (19*) and Singh (11*) at the crease.
Both left-handers, fresh off West Indies international duties, showed excellent application when play resumed after tea taking the Jaguars’ lead well past 200. The Georgetown Cricket Club players traded on their familiarity with each other’s game which ensured the runs kept on coming and what began as a 116-run lead when the day began soon went past 260.
Unlike his first innings which was uneven, Johnson played a more fluent knock, reaching his 29th First Class fifty off 143 balls with five boundaries. Singh followed up shortly after, steering Marquino Mindley for his fourth boundary to bring up his 8th half-century at this level, which required just 120 deliveries and featured four fours.
A boundary off the bat of the Jags skipper took the lead past 300 but a mistimed hook brought about the Guyanese Captain’s demise when he fell to his West Indies teammate Jermaine Blackwood (2-12), caught by Dawes at deep fine-leg.
Blackwood’s “Golden arm” would then come into play when he bagged the other huge scalp of Singh who was caught by the Scorpions’ captain at gully.
The declaration soon came as Johnson seemed comfortable with the runs on the board and will be backing his spinners to finish off nicely with a full day’s play remaining.
Play in the final day of round one will continue from 9:30hrs today.rs to winning position