GROS ISLET, St Lucia, CMC – Left-hander Leon Johnson sent a strong message to selectors with his second hundred in three games as leaders Guyana Jaguars took a firm grip of their eighth round clash with Leeward Islands Hurricanes here Saturday.
The Jaguars skipper stroked 107 – an innings which powered the visitors to 310 for seven at the close of the second day in response to Volcanoes’ first innings of 216.
In-form left-hander Vishaul Singh stroked 58, opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul weighed in with 46 while Barbadian all-rounder Raymon Reifer finished on 27 not out.
The effort allowed Jaguars to carve out a significant 94-run lead heading into Sunday’s penultimate day at the Beausejour Cricket Stadium.
Resuming the day on 44 for two, Chanderpaul and Assad Fudadin (15) extended their third wicket stand to 33, to give Jaguars a stable start.
When Fudadin was lbw to seamer Kyle Mayers (2-67), Chanderpaul put on another 30 with Johnson before he fell just before lunch, to leave Jaguars on 132 for four at the break.
Johnson and Vishaul then combined in the best partnership of the innings, adding 119 for the fifth wicket in a stand that kept Hurricanes wicket-less in the past lunch session.
Johnson faced 184 deliveries and struck 13 fours in an innings which spanned almost 4-3/4 hours while Vishaul faced 149 balls in nearly 2-3/4 hours and counted four fours.
Unbeaten on 63 at tea, Johnson eventually raised his hundred off 169 balls with 12 fours, with a boundary off seamer Kevin McClean.
The partnership was broken when Vishaul offered no stroke to off-spinner Liam Sebastien and was lbw at 219 for five and Jaguars stumbled somewhat when Anthony Bramble was caught at the wicket for four off seamer Mervin Matthew (3-73).
However, Johnson and Reifer put on 62 in an attractive seventh-wicket partnership that took the momentum away from Volcanoes.