PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – West Indies all-rounder Raymon Reifer struck his second half-century in three days and third of the Regional Super50 as Guyana Jaguars produced a clinical run chase to beat minnows Canada by four wickets here Monday night and go top of the standings.
In pursuit of 206 at Queen’s Park Oval, Jaguars recovered from a mid-innings stutter to reach their target in the 40th over, with the left-handed Reifer stroking an unbeaten 61.
Captain Leon Johnson scored 37 and makeshift opener Sherfane Rutherford, 27, but Jaguars lost quick wickets to find themselves stumbling on 96 four in the 20th over.
However, wicketkeeper Anthony Bramble slammed a enterprising 44 off 40 balls, to help Jaguars back on track – in tandem with Reifer – and kill any hopes Canada harboured of a surprise victory.
Jaguars have 25 points from six matches in Group A, seven clear of Trinidad and Tobago Red Force who have played one game less.
Opting to bat earlier, Canada got a top score of 51 from Nitish Kumar while captain David Jacobs remained unbeaten on 34 and opener Ruvindu Gunasekera also got 34, in a total of 205 for seven off their 50 allotted overs.
The visitors started well courtesy of Gunasekera, the left-hander putting on 38 with Navneet Dhaliwal (20) for the first wicket and a further 48 for the second wicket with Kumar.
Gunasekera faced 80 balls and struck two fours while Kumar struck three fours and a six in a 72-ball stay at the crease.
However, Gunasekera’s demise at the end of the 24th over triggered a slide that saw Canada lose five wickets for 52 runs, to be tottering on 138 for six in the 41st over.
Jacobs and Nikhil Dutta (29) then produced cameos in a 62-run, seventh wicket stand off just 52 balls as Canada gathered precious runs towards the end.
The right-handed Jacobs faced 30 balls and struck three fours while Dutta’s innings came at a run-a-ball and included a four and a six.
Left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul was the best bowler with two for 26 from his 10 overs.
In reply, Canada lost Trevon Griffith cheaply for nine in the fifth over with the score on 16 but the left-handed Johnson added 30 with Rutherford for the second wicket and a further 33 for the third with Chris Barnwell (9), to steady the innings. When Johnson, who faced 45 balls and counted seven fours, fell within 29 balls balls of Barnwell, it left Jaguars having to start over.
But they rallied once again, this time through Reifer and Bramble, the pair adding a crucial 79 for the fifth wicket to put victory in sight.
Bramble and Ricardo Adams (1) fell in the space of seven balls but Reifer remained solid in an unbroken seventh wicket stand with Permaul (12 not out) worth 30, to seal victory.