Boundary-hitting Bramble leads Jaguars’ charge

Regional Four-Day Cricket Championship

Anthony Bramble smiles for the camera after bringing up his second century in as many matches. (Orlando Charles photo)

A dominating century from wicketkeeper-batsman Anthony Bramble solidified Guyana Jaguars’ dominance as they closed on 307-6 at the end of day one against Windward Islands Volcanoes in the fourth round of the Cricket West Indies Regional Four-Day tournament at Providence yesterday.

Despite a few sprinkles early in the morning, a few cricket lovers gathered at Guyana’s only international cricket venue to see Leon Johnson win the toss and put his men to bat first where they faced 90 overs before the close of play.

The day was highlighted by a 209-run partnership for the fifth wicket between opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul and Bramble as the West Indies B team captain registered consecutive centuries, this time 168 from 153 balls including 17 fours and half a dozen sixes.

Tagenarine Chanderpaul pushing on the on side during his unbeaten 71. (Orlando Charles photo)

Bramble came to the crease following Shimron Hetmyer’s departure in the first over after lunch with the score 71-3 and immediately stamped his authority with a few boundaries. Bramble, who hails from Berbice, dealt in boundaries, hitting eight fours to bring up his half century in just 52 balls. Bramble then switched gears and clobbered left arm spinner, Kavem Hodge, for successive sixes. He pushed a ball to short cover for a single to bring up his third first class century, taking just 32 balls more, this time adding four sixes and three fours.

The pair continued to turn over the scoreboard to see Jaguars to 212-3 at tea with Chanderpaul on 43 and Bramble on 113.

The wicketkeeper-batsman showcased his aggressive nature to bring up his 150 from 131 balls before effortlessly guiding the ball to Devon Smith at a conventional first slip off of Josh Thomas and ending his 189-minute stay at the wicket on 168.

At the end of play, Johnson said he thought the day was a good one for the Jaguars. “Knowing the conditions here is not one where you would score three runs an over but finishing over 300 after being in a spot of bother at 27-2, the partnership with Tage [Tagenarine Chanderpaul] and Anthony [Bramble] really set us in good stride. Obviously Bramble is in good form and we capitalised on it,” the skipper said.

“I think we gave a bit back to the Windwards especially with the run out and we really have to put it right and being 310-5 would have been good,” Johnson added.

Meanwhile, Volcanoes’ vice-captain Ronald Cato said, “I would say it is (an) even day’s play and the wicket is an even one, not much spinning or staying low and the ball coming on nicely.”

Earlier, the Jaguars, with four changes from their last match saw Trevon Griffith opening with Tagenarine Chanderpaul to start the day’s proceedings.

Griffith looked his usual flamboyant self with a boundary through the covers early on. The 27-year-old then chased a wide delivery, chopping it down to the fine leg boundary for his second four only to be undone with a beautiful outswinging delivery that shaped away with a bit of lift from Josh Thomas as he departed for 14.

Johnson didn’t last too long at the crease, attempting to drive only to pick out Hodge at gully for five.

Nevertheless, West Indies test player, Hetmyer came to the crease reviving the minor collapse to add 26 runs in a third wicket stand of 44 with Chanderpaul seeing them off to lunch on 71-2.

Soon after, the Indian Premier League-bound Hetmyer departed after playing a loose cut to Devon Smith at first slip for 26 from 43 balls including triple boundaries.

With Bramble going all guns blazing, Chanderpaul was steadily building his indelible stay at the crease, selecting the odd single but nevertheless notching up his eighth half century with a push through square leg for two and bring up his 50 from 233 balls, hitting two boundaries along the way.

Bramble’s departure triggered three quick wickets with Sherfane Rutherford edging Thomas into the hands of the wicketkeeper two balls later and Keemo Paul departing for three via run out.

Chanderpaul saw the day off, remaining unbeaten on 73 while Romario Shepherd is at the crease on five not out.

Thomas closed on 3-63 from 17 overs while Jordan and Shermon Lewis picked up one wicket each.

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