Jaguars close in on another win despite spirited fightback from Windwards

-Smith misses out on ton 

Vishaul Singh remained unbeaten on 48 during a combative knock to see Jaguars safely to the close on day three (Orlando Charles Photo)

A much-improved all-round performance from the Windward Islands Volcanoes which saw Devon Smith missing out on another regional first-class century  coupled with a few wickets in the second innings, prevented the Guyana Jaguars from rolling over the visitors on the penultimate day of the Cricket West Indies (CWI) regional four-day tournament at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.

Jaguars in pursuit of 165 for victory, ended the day on 104 – 4.

Earlier, Volcanoes resuming on 127 – 6 with a lead of 50, reached 214 – 8 at lunch.

Smith, continuing from where he left off, took his overnight total of 49, to 95 before he was bowled by left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie to end his resistance. 

His 185-ball knock included seven boundaries and was the cornerstone of a much-improved Volcanoes showing which spilt over into the other departments and, along with two rain interruptions, combined to frustrate the host throughout the day.

Smith, the leading runs scorer this season, added 69 runs with his nephew and wicketkeeper Dennis Smith (28), which took the lead past the 100-run mark before he fell victim to Veerasammy Permaul at 196 – 7.

Jaguars, however, after the break sniffed out the wicket of Delorn Johnson (6) who was caught in the covers off the bowling of Keemo Paul to leave the score on 236 – 9, shortly before the rains came and interrupted play for nearly an hour.

Shane Shillingford before then had clobbered a few boundaries, pushing the lead past the 150-run mark and continuing Volcanoes’ second innings revival.

However, their innings, after frustrating the Jaguars for some time, ended with a bit of brilliance when Paul pulled off a stunning, diving catch to remove Shillingford for a stubborn lower-order 26 to hand Keon Joseph his first wicket of the day.

Their 241 all out in the 85th over, handed them a lead of 164 as Rutherford (2-19), Joseph (2-26), Motie (2-46), Paul (2-55) and Permaul (2-78) combined to complete the Volcanoes’ dismissal.

Jaguars, in their run chase, got off to a dismal start when Tagenarine Chanderpaul missed a straight delivery and was adjudged LBW to left-arm seamer Johnson at the end of the first over without a run on the board.

Fellow opener Chandrapaul Hemraj, though, got his innings going with two lovely shots for four while skipper Leon Johnson, who joined Hemraj at the demise of Chanderpaul, also got off the mark with a boundary to signal an early positive intent.

The two took the score to 23 – 1 at the tea interval.

Johnson, after a close shave via a loud appeal for caught behind, elegantly stroked seamer Sherman Lewis for four at the resumption of play. He then had his stumps dislodged by seamer Johnson for 12 to leave the score on 28 – 2 as Volcanoes threatened to erupt.

Hemraj and Vishaul Singh counter attacked for a few overs to take Jaguars to 51 when the visitors struck another blow, removing the former LBW to Kyle Mayers for 19 to leave the three-time defending champions in a tricky position.

Things could have gotten even worse for the host when Shillingford floored a return catch presented by Shivnarine Chanderpaul early in his innings.

Singh was also put down twice before taking the score to 88 when Shillingford had his man by removing Chanderpaul, caught in the slips for 11.

Singh and Anthony Bramble then saw the side to the safety of the close, carrying the score to 104 – 4 stumps on day three with the Jaguars  needing 61 more runs to complete another victory.

Shillingford and Myres ended the with one wicket each while Johnson, who bowled well with the new ball had figures of 2-24.

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