HOSTS Guyana Jaguars capitalised on a dismal Trinidad and Tobago Red Force batting display, to close the opening day of the fifth round Regional Four-Day Championship fixture on top, after a rain-reduced day at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.
The two-time defending champions produced a superb all-round bowling performance, with left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul being the pick of the bowlers as he returned impressive figures of 4-31.
However, it was the seamers who first inspired the hosts. Left-arm seamer Raymon Reifer (3-32), Christopher Barnwell (2-20) and Keon Joseph (1-30) were all instrumental in ensuring the hosts seized an early advantage.
From 63-5, though, the Red Force lower-order put in a good performance to reach a half-respectable total of 162, with Roshon Primus putting some of the more accomplished batsmen to shame with a knock of 42.
The Jaguars were 9-0 off 2.1 overs when rain brought a premature end to the day’s play, with 8.5 overs remaining. Rajendra Chandrika is on eight, with Shimron Hetymer yet to score.
When play finally started some 70 minutes after the scheduled time, the visitors’ decision to bat first in overcast conditions backfired, as their openers could put together only 28 runs before both were dismissed in the space of five balls.
Kyle Hope kick-started the innings, with an impressive extra-cover boundary off Joseph, but after that stroke, the Guyanese seamers were particularly effective in tandem, and kept a probing line to trouble both Hope and fellow opener Imran Khan.
The conditions were overwhelmingly pacer-friendly, and Reifer provided the first breakthrough in the tenth over, when he bowled the 28-year-old Hope (15), with a ball that shaped into the right-hander.
With the floodlights in effect, the visitors continued to struggle in the conditions. However, Christopher Barnwell, whose selection once more remains questionable, got into the act when he had Khan caught at forward-square by Vishaul Singh.
Isaiah Rajah, in partnership with Jason Mohammed, then took the Red Force to within ten minutes of lunch when rain brought them early relief. The visitors were 28-2 after 11.4 overs.
Play was then suspended for a further 84 minutes. On resumption, the visitors’ innings plunged into further trouble with the loss of Mohammed and Yannic Cariah. Both batsmen fell off consecutive balls from Reifer, who continued to swing the ball both ways.
Mohammed (7) played a lazy shot attempting to follow a ball that was angled across him, and got an edge to wicketkeeper Anthony Bramble, while Cariah was trapped leg-before with an inswinger, without scoring.
Barnwell used the corridor with back-of-length deliveries to good effect, and was rewarded after a brief stand of 26 between the 23-year-old Rajah and Yannick Ottley.
Rajah had nudged the ball around for his 12, but was bowled when he played down the wrong line.
Ottley in company with Roshon Primus added 33 runs for the sixth wicket before Ottley was taken at point off Permaul for 15.
The 21-year-old Primus, who was gaining some momentum, was joined by Steven Katwaroo, but at the stroke of tea, Primus’ breezy 65-ball innings came to end as he spooned a simple return catch to Permaul for a top-score 42.
His innings lasted 71 minutes, and in the process he helped himself to seven sweetly timed boundaries.
Permaul then removed Katwaroo (24) and Marlon Richards (4) before his fellow left-arm counterpart, Gudakesh Motie (1-40), claimed the final wicket of Khery Pierre for 17.
Play resumes today at 09:00hrs.
RED FORCE 1st iinings
K. Hope b Reifer 16
I. Khan c Vishaul Singh b Barnwell 7
I. Rajah b Barnwell 12
J. Mohammed c wkp. Bramble b Reifer 7
Y. Cariah lbw b Reifer 0
Y. Ottley c Motie b Permaul 15
R. Primus c & b Motie 42
S. Katwaroo lbw b Permaul 24
K. Pierre c Chandrika b Motie 17
M. Richards c Chandrika b Permaul 4
J. Jagessar not out 0
Extras: (b-2, lb-6, w-2, nb-8) 18
Total : (all out, 53.2 overs) 162
Fall of wickets: 1-28, 2-28, 3-37, 4-37, 5-63, 6-96, 7-117, 8-150, 9-158.
Bowling: Joseph 8-3-30-0, Reifer 10-1-34-3, Barnwell 8-3-20-2, Permaul 14-5-30-4, Motie 13.2-2-40-1.
JAGUARS 1st innings
R. Chandrika not out 8
S. Hetmyer not out 0
Extras: (nb-1) 1
Total: (without loss, 2.2 overs) 9
Bowling: Richards 1.2-0-5-0, Primus 1-0-4-0.
Position: Jaguars trail by 153 runs with all ten wickets intact.