Stumps on day two of Guyana’s Jaguar’s final round clash against the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force ended on a bittersweet note for young sensation, Sherfane Rutherford who fell agonizingly short of his maiden first-class century at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence yesterday.
Rutherford’s knock was the main cornerstone in helping the titleholders to end the day on 466 – 7 with an assailable lead of 331 also on the back of a domineering century stand between all-rounders Rutherford and Raymon Reifer.
Reifer ended the day unbeaten on 85 as he closes in on his maiden first-class ton. With him is Keemo Paul on 35.
Rutherford’s innings, though, was the highlight of the day, after he smashed his career best, a knock of 93 off 97 deliveries and featured in a 161-run, eighth-wicket stand with Reifer to further add a substantive lead for the titleholders.
The duo came together with the score on 250 – 6 and carried it 411 – 7 when Rutherford, who was in sublime touch, fell after smoking 11 fours and four sixes in his knock.
The pair complemented each other ideally as Rutherford, who continues to grow in stature at this level, played his shots and owned the role of the aggressor while Reifer took his time to get into his grove as both men took their individual score past 50 at the tea interval; Rutherford before Reifer with an oozing cut past backyard point.
The pair continued after the break, dispatching anything loose while extending the Jaguars’ lead before medium pacer, Tion Webster, ended Rutherford’s knock after he inside edged a delivery onto his stumps.
The day began with Jaguars resuming on 116 – 1, trailing by 19 runs. They quickly wiped off the deficit and commenced building a lead.
Red Force, however, had a bit of sparkle during the morning session, removing Tagenarine Chanderpaul (36) – one of the overnight batsmen – before the deficit was cleared.
Shimron Hetmyer – the other overnight batsman, added a further 30 runs with skipper Leon Johnson before he was dismissed by off-spinner Brian Charles for a neatly constructed 46 inclusive of seven boundaries and a maximum to give the spinner his second wicket of the innings.
His demise left the score on 163 for 3. The visitors, who showed a bit of fight then struck twice before Jaguars could reach the 200-run mark, removing Johnson (17) and Akshaya Persaud (21), leaving the score on 198 – 5.
Anthony Bramble as always came to the party smashing a 31-ball, 42 to add to his 2017/18 regional tally.
Leg-spinner Yannic Cariah (2-68) has so far been the pick of the bowlers while off-spinner Charles’ 2 – 107, Webster (1-56), Imran Khan (1-100), Daniel St Clair (1-69) are the other wicket takers.