PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Exciting West Indies all-rounder Keemo Paul conjured up magical performances with bat and ball to twice hurt Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, as leaders Guyana Jaguars kept their noses in front, on a dramatic opening day of their sixth round match in the Regional Four-Day Championship here yesterday.
Twenty wickets fell at Queen’s Park Oval as Red Force, sent in were bundled out for 108, before Jaguars then tumbled for 150 in reply, to eke out a 42-run first innings lead.
At the close, Red Force were 13 without loss in their second innings.
The 20-year-old Paul was never out of the spotlight, first coming to the fore by taking three for 26 with his brisk pace to help dismantle Red Force’s innings, before lashing a whirlwind unbeaten 66 at number eight.
Seamer Clinton Pestano took three for 37 while left-arm pacer Raymon Reifer (2-20) and new-ball speedster Romario Shepherd (2-23) supported with two wickets apiece as Red Force never found their footing.
Paul now has 16 wickets in three matches since returning from the tour of Bangladesh with West Indies last month.
No Red Force player passed 20 in head coach Mervyn Dillon’s first game in charge as Tion Webster, batting at number three, top-scored with 19.
Jaguars then wasted a 31-run opening stand between Chandrapaul Hemraj (23) and Tagenarine Chanderpaul (13) as former Test seamer Ravi Rampaul (2-34) sent back both lbw in successive overs, as five wickets perished for 13 runs.
Rocking on 44 for five, Jaguars found relief through a 32-run, sixth wicket stand between Shepherd (23) and Reifer (16) before Paul joined Shepherd to put on a further 38 for the seventh wicket.
Shepherd was one of three wickets to fall for three runs in the space of eight balls as Jaguars slipped to 117 for nine and it signalled the start of the fireworks from Paul. The right-hander blasted 10 fours and three sixes off a mere 36 balls, scoring all 33 runs in a last wicket stand with Gudakesh Motie.
Leg-spinner Imran Khan was the best bowler with three for 22.