Pleasing’ says Hemraj of maiden first-class ton

Chandrapaul Hemraj scored his maiden first class century against Barbados Pride

West Indies limited overs batman Guyana’s Chandrapaul Hemraj has described his maiden first class century as “pleasing.”

The 25-year-old left-handed opener from Strathavon, East Coast Demerara, marked his return to the Cricket West Indies Regional Four-Day tournament with a blistering 144 for the defending champions, Guyana Jaguars against Barbados Pride in the just-concluded third round of the tournament.

The match in which Jaguars won in Barbados, Hemraj struck 20 fours and four sixes during his over four-hour stay at the crease and his innings enabled the Jaguars to score an outright win over the star-studded home team in their own backyard.

“It was really pleasing for me to score my first century in Barbados against that bowling attack and it was the exact way I wanted to set myself to start back four-day cricket,” Hemraj told this publication.

The Barbados Pride side featured nine players who had represented West Indies recently and the bowling line up included the West Indies test captain, Jason Holder who is the highest ranked Caribbean bowler sitting at 10, Kemar Roach, Miguel Cummins, Ashley Nurse and Jomel Warrican.

Hemraj, when on 99, tucked the ball down to fine leg for a double to bring up his inaugural first class century.

“I wasn’t really nervous on 99 but you know I had a few half centuries last year so I really wanted to get this ton out the way,” he said.

The Guyana Cricket Board’s Most Improved Player of 2018 added that he has “no big sort of plans” for 2019 but will “just keep improving” and being the best of himself.

Hemraj made his debut for the West Indies in October against India in One Day  Internationals and has played six matches in the format for the Caribbean side. He said he will be looking at his prospects for the longer format of the game, adding that he intends to grab with both hands, whatever opportunities arise.

Hemraj credits among other things, the experience garnered playing at the highest level of cricket and while he has not put much thought into playing test cricket, he said he will relish the opportunity.

“I just want to keep performing consistent and if the opportunity comes along I would be grateful.”

Hemraj averages 30 with a century and six fifties in first class cricket.

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