One hand on title as Jaguars edge Scorpions

Chandrapaul Hemraj

KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Three-time reigning champions Guyana Jaguars beat Jamaica Scorpions in a nerve-jangling contest here Saturday, to increase their lead at the top of the standings and virtually assure themselves of a fourth straight title in the Regional Four-Day Championship.

Set a 136 for victory at Sabina Park on the third day, Jaguars stumbled and stuttered their way to their target, before achieving victory 45 minutes before the scheduled close, when tail-ender Veerasammy Permaul (10 not out) turned off-spinner John Campbell into the on-side for a single.

The run chase was carried by opener Chandrapaul Hemraj who top-scored with 40 while Keemo Paul got 21, but Jaguars collapsed from 64 for two to 84 for six as they lost four wickets for 22 runs in quick time.

Paul, who counter-attacked lashing three sixes in 11-ball cameo, put on a crucial 30 for the seventh wicket with Permaul to edge Jaguars closer to their target.

Drama ensued, however, when Paul was stumped off left-arm spinner and captain Nikita Miller. And with only nine runs added, veteran left-hander Shiv Chanderpaul was caught close-in off by Fabien Allen for 16 looking to work Miller away on the leg-side.

The double success for Miller left Jagurs tottering on 123 for eight, handing Scorpions a huge chance to snatch a late win.

But Brandon King dropped Gudakesh Motie (6 not out) at second slip in a critical miss for Scorpions and he remained with Permaul to see Jaguars to their sixth win of the season.

Miller was the best bowler with four for 64 to end with an eight-wicket match haul.

Earlier, Scorpions were dismissed for 212 in their second innings after resuming from their overnight 167 for five.

Opener Assad Fudadin added nine to his overnight 61 before falling lbw to left-arm seamer Raymon Reifer, after facing 192 balls all told and striking seven boundaries.

He extended his sixth wicket stand with wicketkeeper Aldaine Thomas to 39 before becoming the first casualty of the day.

Thomas lasted 118 deliveries and hit four fours before going bowled by Paul, as Scorpions lost their last four wickets for 19 runs.

Left-arm spinner Motie finished with four for 39 while Paul picked up two for 33.

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