Opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul and captain Leon Johnson gathered half-centuries but it was Barbadian import Raymon Reifer who frustrated Barbados Pride’s victory bid and earned a draw for Guyana Jaguars at Kensington Oval today.
Resuming the final day on 52 without loss in pursuit of an improbable target of 405, Jaguars batted the entire day to finish on 252 for seven, with Chanderpaul top-scoring with 69 and Johnson getting an even 50.
Test opener Rajindra Chandrika chipped in with 49 to ensure Jaguars cruised at 163 for two at one stage.
However, part-time off-spinner Roston Chase, who claimed five for 77 to end with a ten-wicket match haul, triggered a slide to leave Jaguars battling to save the game at 217 for six.
Reifer, in his second season with the Georgetown-based franchise, then became the hero as he batted just under 2-1/2 hours and faced 116 balls for an unbeaten 19, to nullify Pride’s attack.
At the end, he was partnered by Devendra Bishoo who was unbeaten on seven.
A turning point late in the day came when Bishoo, then on six, was put down by Chase at 245 for seven.
Unfazed by the let-off, both batsmen batted out the remaining nine overs without giving another chance to keep Jaguars unbeaten record intact.
They picked up six points from the contest while Pride walked away with eight.
Left-handers Chanderpaul and Chandrika ensured there were no hiccups for Jaguars at the start of the day as they extended their opening stand to 92 before being separated.
While Chanderpaul faced 205 deliveries in just over 4-3/4 hours with eight fours and a six, Chandrika hit five fours and a six off 110 balls.
Chandrika fell in the second hour of the morning, well taken at short mid-wicket by Hayden Walsh off Chase and two overs later, Assad Fudadin was caught low down at slip by Jonathan Carter for two off the same bowler, as the visitors went to lunch at 130 for two.
Chanderpaul and Johnson put on 67 for the third wicket to put Jaguars in a strong position after lunch. The left-handed Johnson was aggressive, striking three fours and three sixes off 92 balls, and snatched the momentum for Jaguars.
However, the drama began when Johnson found Shai Hope at mid-wicket with a full toss from leg-spinner Walsh. His dismissal triggered a slide that saw the next five wickets tumble for 75 runs, as Pride’s scented victory.
Reifer, though, yet to score at tea with Jaguars on 197 for five, put on 27 for the sixth wicket with Anthony Bramble (19) and another 21 for the seventh wicket with Veerasammy Permaul (16), to hold up Pride’s advance.