Guyana Jaguars crowned champions despite last round defeat

—Cornwall adjudged man-of-the-match after bagging nine wickets

Champions!! The victorious Guyana side after completing the triple by winning the 2016/17 Digicel, WICB, Professional Cricket League Championship (Photo by Royston Alkins)

Guyana Jaguars, who prior to their final round match against the Leeward Islands Hurricanes were  already assured of winning the 2016/7 Digicel, West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), Professional Cricket League (PCL), ended their season on a losing note after they handed the Islanders a 10-wicket win at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence, yesterday.

Jaguars, who played the entire game with little intensity, were bundled out for 143 in their second innings to hand the Hurricanes their third win of the season and second against the Jaguars.

Leon Johnson, however, is now the first Guyanese skipper to lead a Guyanese side to three consecutive first-class titles.

The day started with Leeward Islands Hurricanes resuming on 255 for seven with Jacques Taylor on 60 and Jeremiah Louis on 20. Hurricanes, however, lost Louis for 32 LBW to Raymon Reifer to hand the left-armer his five-wicket haul. The morning session moved along with plenty of action during which time Taylor, who looked in command of his innings, creamed Reifer through the covers for four then hooked him over mid-wicket for six.

Reifer struck back however, with a delivery which took the outside edge of his bat  and  the catch  was taken by wicket – keeper Anthony Bramble.

He was sent marching for 72 which lasted 160 balls. They were eventually dismissed for 306 from 127.2 overs when Veersammy Permaul turned over his arm to trap Elvin Berridge (00) LBW to end the Islanders innings after they managed to accumulate a first innings lead of 119 runs. Reifer was the pick of the bowlers, ending with six for 74 from 30 overs.

Guyana, in their second innings, lost Assad Fudadin (01) with the score on five when Gavin Tonge, who got the ball to move both ways, found the outside edge  of his bat for wicketkeeper Jahmar Hamilton to complete the regulation catch.

Bashkar Yadram and Chanderpaul Hemraj then endured a tough period before Yadram (13) was dismissed on the stroke of lunch by spinner Berridge to leave Guyana on 30 for two at the break.

Guyana started the middle session positively when skipper Johnson exquisitely drove Tonge through the covers for four. Tonge, though, persisted while Cornwall with his off-spin created a few chances that fell short of the slip catcher, early on.

Tonge was rewarded for his valiant efforts when he had Johnson caught in the covers for nine. Guyana slipped into further trouble when Hemraj (29) who survived a loud LBW shout, was bowled by Louis off the very next ball to send the Islanders into jubilation with the score on 64 for four and Guyana  still trailing by 55 runs and in danger of losing the game inside three days.

Reifer was soon after needlessly run-out for two to compound the dismal batting effort as the home side slipped to 76 for five with plenty of time left in the day to produce a result in favor of the visitors.

Keemo Paul and Anthony Bramble though had other ideas and joined forces to keep the Hurricanes bowling attack at bay, taking  Guyana to tea with the score reading 93 for 5, still, 24 runs away from making the Leewards bat again.

The final session started as the others did, with a wicket, when Bramble (23) handed Tonge his third wicket of the innings. It was now left up to Paul and Steven Jacobs to salvage some pride for the champions who were in danger of being beaten by Hurricanes who sit at the bottom of the points table. Jacobs (00) though failed but Permaul (20) and Paul ( 26) combined to hit a few boundaries to push Guyana to past the deficit while gaining a 24 run lead but they were both dismissed in quick succession by man-of-the-match, Cornwall who took three for 68, Tonge (3-33) and Louis (2-16) as the trio worked over the champions for 143.

Hurricanes then coasted to 25 without loss to seal an impressive 10 wicket win.

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