Skipper Leon Johnson recorded his maiden List A century, which piloted the Guyana Jaguars into the final of this year’s Cricket West Indies (CWI) Regional Super50 Championship after they defeated the Jamaican Scorpions by one wicket at the Kensington Oval, Barbados last evening,
The Jaguars, who needed 273 for victory, booked their spot in the finals on the back of Johnson’s intelligent ton.
His knock of 101 included 11 fours and shared in a vital 130-run partnership with the consistent Raymon Reifer (61), who was equally as pleasing on the eyes as the Jaguars scampered home.
The two came together with the score on 70 – 3 following the premature demise of the top order, including the wicket of Sherfane Rutherford (22), whose cameo gave his side an ideal platform.
Johnson, however, departed straight after scoring his century with the score on 200 – 4 at the beginning of the 40th over, with his side still needing a further 73 runs for victory.
Reifer, nonetheless, remained resolute despite the loss of a few more wickets to take the Jaguars within touching distance of victory before he was needlessly dismissed via the run-out route, which added a twist to the thrilling contest.
More wickets tumbled but Veerasammy Permaul (22) held his nerve to see his side home, 276 – 9 in the final over.
Nikita Miller, who had the prize scalp of Johnson, ended with figures of 2 – 36 from his complement while former West Indian speedster, Jerome Taylor, kept his side in the hunt with figures of 3-44.
Earlier, the Scorpions managed to post 272 from their allotted 50 overs after half-centuries from Nkrumah Bonner, who blasted an unbeaten 76 from 64 deliveries, while opener John Campbell nearly scored at a run a ball for his 56, which provided the early impetus for the Jamaicans.
Derval Green (32) and Jerome Taylor (28) also played vital knocks as Clinton Pestano (3-56), Romario Shepherd (2-55) and Permaul (2-42), did the business for the South Americans with the ball.
They will face on Sunday, the winner of today’s second semi-final between the Combined Campuses and Colleges Marooners and the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force.
SCORPIONS 272 for eight off 50 overs (Nkrumah Bonner 76 not out, John Campbell 56, Andre McCarthy 36, Derval Green 32, Jerome Taylor 28; Clinton Pestano 3-56, Veerasammy Permaul 2-42, Romario Shepherd 2-55)
JAGUARS 276 for nine off 49.5 overs (Leon Johnson 101, Raymon Reifer 68, Veerasammy Permaul 22, Sherfane Rutherford 22; Jerome Taylor 3-44, Nikita Miller 2-36, Gordon Bryan 2-69)