MIDDLE-order batsmen Royston Crandon and skipper Christopher Barnwell struck half-centuries, while Steven Jacobs stroked an unbeaten 44 as the Guyana Jaguars came away with a 106-run victory over Singh’s XI in their first practice match at the Everest Cricket Club ground yesterday.Batting first in hazy conditions in the game that is being used as part of the team’s preparation for this year’s West Indies Cricket Board/Professional Cricket League/NAGICO Super50 tournament, the Jaguars posted 281 for 7 off their 50 overs.
Crandon led the batting with 75 (6×4, 2×6) and Barnwell made 54 (4×4), paving the way for the dreadlocked Jacobs to blast four sixes and one four in his unbeaten innings that was scored off 24 deliveries in the depth of the Jaguars’ batting.
Paul Wintz took 3 for 59 for Singh’s XI, who in reply saw Kevon Boodie strike seven fours and one six in his top score of 44 and even though Singh contributed 29 Kandasammy Surujnarine 22 and Jason Sinclair 20, Singh’s XI fell way short of their target, as they were dismissed for 175 in 43.1 overs.
This was after they were 66 without loss in the 12th over, with Barnwell and Crandon engineering the collapse with three wickets each, including that of Narsingh Deonarine who failed to score, while Devendra Bishoo took 2 for 41.
When the Jaguars batted, openers Trevon Griffith (14) and Rajendra Chandrika (19) posted 33 for the first wicket before they were both dismissed – Griffith courtesy of a splendid catch by Anthony Adams at midwicket off Keon Joseph, while Raun Johnson knocked back Chandrika’s off-stump at 33 for 2.
Barnwell and Raymon Reifer (6) pushed the score to 62 before Reifer was caught by Chandrapaul Hemraj at extra cover off Wintz, enabling Barnwell and Crandon to add 43 for the fourth wicket, during which time Barnwell posted his half-century before he was run-out going for a second run at 105 for 4.
Jonathan Foo, who hit Joseph for four through vacant square leg, before easing the former West Indies Under-19 fast bowler back over his head for 6, added 104 from 15.5 overs for the fifth wicket with Crandon. Sinclair then held Foo’s offer at the wicket off Amir Khan (1 for 70).
When Crandon was dismissed at 235 for 7 in the 47th over, Singh’s XI must have been looking at a target of 250-odd, but Jacobs displayed a no-nonsense mood by hitting Deonarine over midwicket and followed it up three sixes and one four in the final over bowled by Khan, to push his team to their final total.
With the Atlantic Ocean breeze blowing across the venue, Boodie and Surujnarine give Singh’s XI a positive start, with the former hitting Reifer for back-to-back fours in his third over, followed by two more fours off Ronsford Beaton.
Boodie raced to 44 off the 66 runs posted for the first wicket before he saw the demise of Surujnarine, who was lbw to Jacobs for 22 and from that score, Singh’s XI slipped to 77 for 4, losing Boodie, Hemraj (7) and Deonarine (0). Barnwell removed Hemraj and Deonarine off successive deliveries.
Singh and Ricardo Adams steadied things for their side, with Ricardo Adams hitting Jacobs for two fours including a reverse sweep after surviving confident lbw shouts from the said bowler, before Veerasammy Permaul removed him at 112 for 5.
Robin Bacchus (4) went at 119 for 6 in the 32nd over and even though Singh and Sinclair tried their best to get their team past the 200-run mark, their efforts were undermined by Bishoo and Crandon who worked in tandem to dismiss the opposition.
The two sides will meet in the second and final practice match, a day/night affair, at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence from 14:00hrs tomorrow, before the Guyana Jaguars depart for Trinidad and Tobago on January 13.
There they will contest this year’s tournament from January 15 to 25. Eight teams will do battle for supremacy out of two groups, with the Guyana Jaguars being placed in Group ‘A’ and will face off with defending champions Barbados Pride, Windward Islands Volcanoes and Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC).
The Guyana Jaguars will take on all three teams on various dates in the preliminary round, with their first encounter being against the Volcanoes at the picturesque Queen’s Park Oval on opening day of the tournament.