Pestano, Johnson put Guyana in command

Regional four-day first round

Leon Johnson stroked 51

A four- wicket haul from Clinton Pestano and a half century from Leon Johnson saw the Guyana Jaguars in control of their first-round clash yesterday against Windward Island Volcanoes after establishing a 152-run lead at the end of day two of the Cricket West Indies Regional four-day first round at the Darren Sammy Stadium, St. Lucia.

 The defending champions were dismissed on day one for 224. The Volcanoes resuming the second day on 32-2 were bundled out for 187 in 59.1 overs, yielding to the Jaguars a 37-run first innings lead which  Guyana extended as they closed the day on 115-3 after facing 41 overs.

 Pestano, in only his third first class match, continued his assault, striking twice in the first over. He removed Taryck Gabriel three balls into the day and enticed Ronald Cato to follow suit without troubling the scoreboard.

 Kavem Hodge and debutant, Alick Athanaze revived the innings with a 37-run partnership but Keon Joseph broke it by drawing Hodge to hole out to Christopher Barnwell for 19 from 43 balls.

Athanaze was joined by Dennis Smith and the pair put on 57 for the sixth wicket but once again, a steady partnership was broken as Romario Shepherd had Smith edging to first slip with Johnson diving low to his left and leaving the Volcanoes at 131-6.

 When spin was introduced, left arm orthodox Veerasammy Permaul struck immediately as Athanaze looked to work the ball on the leg side but only managed to feather it into the hands of Bramble behind the stumps for a top score of 34.

 The Jaguars’ march was halted with rain interrupting the match for 10 minutes with the  Volcanoes still trailing by 89 runs with three wickets in hand.

 After the rain departed, the Volcanoes frustrated the Guyana bowlers with Shane Shillingford adding 38 for the eighth wicket with Delron Johnson until Shillingford pushed through the covers and hesitated for the second run. He eventually decided to go for it but was short of his ground and dismissed for seven from 29 balls.

Delron Johnson was left stranded, unbeaten on 34, as Permaul returned to make light work of the last few wickets, trapping the last two batsmen leg before wicket to finish with 3-13 while Pestano was unsuccessful after the change of ends, finishing with 4-46.

 The Jaguars’ second innings got off to a blitz with left handed openers, Tagenarine Chanderpaul and Trevon Griffith adding 42 but ended when Chanderpaul punched Ray Jordan to Kirk Edwards at mid off whose direct hit sent Griffith on his way for 23 consisting of two sixes and one four.

Johnson joined Chanderpaul and took control of a 63-run partnership, doing the bulk of the scoring as Chanderpaul added just six.

The Guyana captain hammered the bowlers to all parts of the boundary, including an edge off of Jordan that went between the wicket keeper and first slip for a four to bring up his 34th first class half century. Jordan, however got his reward as Johnson walked after edging to Smith behind the stumps for 51 from 73 balls to leave his side 105-2.

Shillingford returned to trap Vishaul Singh, who scored 75 in the first innings leg before wicket for just three. Jaguars dominated for the remainder of the session with Chanderpaul closing unbeaten 29 from 124 balls along with Pestano who is yet to get off the mark.

Play resumes today at 2 pm.

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