Leeward Islands Hurricane ended the first day of their final round Digicel, West Indies Cricket Board (WICD) Regional four-day clash against host Guyana Jaguars on 62 – 0 when play was called at the Guyana National Stadium Providence, yesterday after skipper Rahkeem Cornwall produced another sensational bowling performance, grabbing his third five-wicket-haul of the season to dislodge Guyana for a less-than-par first-innings total of 187.
Jaguars, at the start of play handed batsman Bhaskar Yadram and left-arm spinner, Anthony Adams, their first-class debuts after they won the toss and elected to bat first.
Openers Assad Fudadin and Yadram took the score to 35 in the 11th over when Fudadin (6) needlessly gave his wicket away after lofting off-pinner Cornwall’s first ball of his spell, to be taken at extra-cover. Two other wickets quickly fell with the score on 51 when Chandrapaul Hemraj (9) nonchalantly pushed seamer, Jeremiah Louis, to mid-on while Yadram (25) was caught at leg-slip to give the burly off-spinner Cornwall his second wicket of the session. Jaguars at that point had ambled to 51 for three inside 17 overs. Skipper Leon Johnson and Raymon Reifer took their side safely to lunch without any further loss with the score on 88 for 3. Johnson, who looked assured, after stroking four fours and single six, was well-set on 28 while Reifer ended the session with his score on six.
Jaguars after the break, lost Reifer (13) stumped to give Cornwall his third wicket while Johnson got a good delivery outside the off-stump which he edged to end his innings on 33 after stroking five majestic fours and a six. Both batsmen were dismissed with the score on 101 with Guyana in some trouble at 101 – 5 after at the end of the 41st over.
The home side slipped into further trouble with Cornwall in the action again when he took a beautiful one-handed catch at slip to dismiss Anthony Bramble for 15 while Steven Jacob was caught at slip from a delivery which bounced and hit his gloves to give the off-spinner his fourth wicket.
Guyana, who seemed a bit relaxed in their approach, eventually ended the second session on 164 for seven with Keemo Paul not out on 30, and vice-captain Veerasammy Permaul, who is no slouch with the bat on eight as the two attempted to rebuild the innings. Skipper Cornwall, who enjoyed good bounce and who bowled a consistent line, had taken four for 54 from 23 overs while receiving support from seamer Louis who had two for 27 from 13 overs.
The final session was much of the same as the already crowned champions showed little application, subsequently being bundled out for 187 in the 63rd over. Paul (30) was the first man to go after tea when he pushed Cornwall down to long-on to give the give the off-spinner his fifth wicket of the innings. The other batsmen soon met their demise as well.
Hurricanes, in their response, reached 62 without loss from 25 overs, trailing the Jaguars by 125 runs with openers Montcin Hodge on 32 and Chesney Hughes on 29 both looking assured after seeing off the new-ball pair of Reifer and Clinton Pestano while also managing to negate the Guyanese spinners.
Hughes appeared to be in good touch after elegantly easing Pestano down the ground for four which was followed up with a savage hook over the deep backward square boundary for six. He also gave Adams a stern baptism, launching him for a big six over long-on during his first over at this level to give Hurricanes a slim physiologically edge at the close of play.