ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Guyana Jaguars have now been confirmed as winners of the 2018-19 West Indies Championship. This followed a career-best spell from Keon Harding that triggered a batting collapse by the Leeward Islands Hurricanes – their nearest rivals – to give Barbados Pride the upper hand on the first day of their rescheduled fourth round match at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground today here.
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More importantly, Hurricanes blew the highly improbable, if not impossible chance they had of making a last-ditch grab for the Headley/Weekes Trophy, symbol of supremacy in the West Indies first-class game, as they needed the absolute maximum 24 points and failed to get a single batting bonus point.
The Jaguars, whose schedule of matches for the season has been completed, become the first team in the CWI Professional Cricket League franchise era to win the title five straight times. It’s a feat however, previously achieved in the West Indies first-class game by the territorial iterations of the Pride (between 1976 and 1980) and Jamaica Scorpions (2008 to 2012).
At the same time – strong batting down the order – led by Jason Mohammed – saw T&T Red Force keep the Scorpions in the field for the entire day in their rescheduled first round match at the Brian Lara Cricket Ground.
Hurricanes (90) vs Pride 154-4 in North Sound, Antigua
Harding took 5-29 from 10 overs, Test fast bowler Miguel Cummins supported with 3-34 from 12 overs and Jamaican fast-medium bowler Marquino Mindley snared 2-19 from 10 overs, as the Hurricanes – sent in to bat – were dismissed about an hour after lunch.
Opener Montcin Hodge led the way for the Hurricanes with 24, but no other batsman reached 20, as the Hurricanes batting failed to ignite.
Pride suffered an early setback at the start of their reply, when opener Shayne Moseley was run out for one in the second over.
Off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall, the season’s leading bowler, took two wickets, one of them WINDIES opener Kraigg Brathwaite for nine, and triggered a period of turbulence, as the Pride slid from 44 for one to 92 for four in getting past their opponents’ total.
But Pride captain Shamarh Brooks, not out on 79, and WINDIES wicketkeeper/batsman Shane Dowrich, not out on 28, came together and put on 62 – unbroken – for the fifth wicket to extend their side’s lead before stumps were drawn.
Red Force 338-5 vs Scorpions in Tarouba, Trinidad
Mohammed defied a destructive spell of 4-49 off 17 overs from Nicholson Gordon and was unbeaten on 89, eyeing his second hundred of the season, when stumps were drawn.
The WINDIES international shared three successive partnerships of 50 runs or more to lead the Red Force’s domination, after they chose to bat.
Test batsman Kyle Hope and left-handed, fellow opener Jeremy Solozano gave the home team a rollicking start of 127 for the first wicket before Gordon removed both of them and Joshua Da Silva in three successive overs to leave Red Force rocking on 136 for three.
Hope hit 64 and Solozano made 63 to cross the 500-run threshold for the season before the Red Force entered into a purple patch in the second half of the day.
Lendl Simmons, whose 30 carried into the 4,000-run club for Red Force, alongside former captain Daren Ganga (5,955 runs) and his uncle, former WINDIES all-rounder and head coach Phil Simmons (4,532 runs), shared 51 for the fourth wicket with Mohammed to stabilize the innings.
After Nkrumah Bonner bowled Simmons, there was further agony for the Scorpions, when Mohammed and Red Force captain Denesh Ramdin put on 87 for the fifth wicket either side of tea to ensure the hosts claimed two batting points.
Gordon removed Ramdin in the first half-hour after tea and Khary Pierre came to the crease to bat through the final 1 ¼ hours with Mohammed before bad light stopped play, having so far put on 64 for the sixth wicket and ensuring Red Force collect a third batting point.
(After the 10th round of matches)
1 Jaguars 154.2 points
2 Hurricanes 131.2
3 Pride 116.8
4 Volcanoes 92
5 Red Force 90.6
6 Scorpions 88.6
RESULTS OF MATCHES
Thursday, December 6 to Sunday, December 9
Volcanoes lost to Jaguars by 125 runs – Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St. Lucia
Pride lost to Hurricanes by 34 runs – Three Ws Oval, Barbados
Thursday, December 13 to Sunday, December 16
Pride beat Scorpions by 41 runs – Three Ws Oval
Hurricanes lost to Jaguars by 9 wickets – Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, Antigua
Red Force lost to Volcanoes by 76 runs – Brian Lara Cricket Academy
Friday, January 4 to Monday, January 7
Scorpions lost to Volcanoes by 5 wickets – Sabina Park, Jamaica
Red Force lost to Hurricanes by 245 runs – Brian Lara Cricket Academy
Pride lost to Jaguars by 6 wickets – Kensington Oval, Barbados
Thursday, January 10 to Sunday, January 13
Scorpions lost to Red Force by 157 runs – Sabina Park
Jaguars beat Volcanoes by 8 wickets – Guyana National Stadium, Guyana
Thursday, January 17 to Sunday, January 20
Jaguars lost to Hurricanes by 2 wickets – Guyana National Stadium
Red Force lost to Pride by 7 wickets – Brian Lara Cricket Academy
Volcanoes lost to Scorpions by 4 wickets – National Cricket Stadium, Grenada
Thursday, January 31 to Sunday, February 3
Hurricanes lost to Scorpions by 1 wicket – Warner Park, St. Kitts
Red Force beat Jaguars by 93 runs – Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad
Pride lost Volcanoes by 8 wickets – Kensington Oval
Thursday, February 7 to Sunday, February 10
Jaguars beat Scorpions by 7 wickets – Guyana National Stadium
Pride beat Red Force by 4 wickets – Kensington Oval
Volcanoes lost to Hurricanes by 12 runs – Windsor Park, Dominica
Thursday, February 21 to Sunday, February 24
Hurricanes drew with Red Force – Warner Park
Scorpions beat Jaguars by 8 wickets – Sabina Park
Volcanoes lost Pride by 23 runs – Arnos Vale Sports Complex, St. Vincent
Thursday, February 28 to Sunday, March 3
Scorpions lost to Hurricanes by 134 runs – Sabina Park
Jaguars beat Pride by 7 wickets – Guyana National Stadium
Volcanoes lost to Red Force by 190 runs – Arnos Vale Sports Complex
Thursday, March 7 to Sunday, March 10
Scorpions lost to Pride by 2 wickets – Sabina Park
Jaguars beat Red Force by 6 wickets – Guyana National Stadium
Hurricanes beat Volcanoes by 6 wickets – Vivian Richards Cricket Ground
SCHEDULE OF MATCHES
(All matches start at 10 am daily, except where indicated)
Thursday, March 14 to Sunday, March 17
Red Force vs Scorpions – Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad
Thursday, March 14 to Sunday, March 17
Hurricanes vs Pride – Vivian Richards Cricket Ground