SKIPPER Vishaul ‘Cheesy’ Singh led from the front with a resilient century, which together with half-centuries from Steven Jacobs and Shimron Hetmyer guided Singh’s XI to a two-wicket victory over Johnson’s XI in the first four-day practice match organised by Cricket Guyana Inc.
Needing to score 334 to chalk up a come-from-behind win, with 305 of those runs needed on the final day, Singh’s XI reached 336 for 8 off 98.5 overs, thanks to 109 from Singh, 68 from Jacobs and an even 50 from Hetmyer, while Veerasammy Permaul took 6 for 133.
Scores from the contest, Johnson’s XI 240 and 287 for 8 decl’d; Singh’s XI 196 and 336 for 8. Singh’s XI resumed the day on 29 without loss, with Tagenarine Chanderpaul on 13 and Kandasammy Surujnarine 15 and quickly lost the former who was bowled by Permaul in the third over of the day at 30 for 1 without any addition to his overnight score.
It should have been 30 for 2, had Robin Bacchus held a chance from Hetmyer at forward short leg, two balls after the younger Chanderpaul was dismissed, to which the left-handed batsman said thanks by hitting both Keon Joseph and Paul Wintz for boundaries.
At the other end, a positive-looking Surujnarine showed intent and purpose with a straight drive for four past Joseph, before he was run-out by Trevon Griffith, looking for a second single after turning Permaul to deep midwicket for 35 (63 balls, 4×4) at 62 for 2.
Singh strode to the wicket on a pair and, having opened his account with a four off Permaul, watched as Hetmyer hit the same bowler for six over long on, as he posted his half-century off 50 balls with five fours and one six.
Reckless shot selections have been the downfall of Hetmyer and yesterday was no different, when he spooned a catch to Christopher Barnwell at short midwicket off Permaul, three balls after posting his half-century at 115 for 3 – their score at lunch which was taken with Singh on 10 and Royston Crandon yet to score.
After the interval, Singh saw the demise of Crandon (3) and Ricardo Adams (7), leaving his side on 129 for 5 as Jacobs made his way to the wicket, following which the duo added 152 for the sixth wicket that virtually swung the match in their side’s favour.
They took the score to 179 for 5 at tea and after the break, Singh first posted his 50 from 160 balls with five fours and six off Permaul, while Jacobs, who was later given a life by Permaul at mid-on off Keon Joseph who encountered no-ball problems, got his off 102 balls with seven fours.
They drove with authority at anything loose outside the off-stump from the Johnson’s XI bowlers, with Jacobs hitting Jonathan Foo for four in the first over after tea and Singh following suit with two fours in the bowler’s next over, as he conceded 18 runs to the victory without much of a fuss.
Jacobs went at 281 for 6, caught ay deep backward squareleg by Bacchus off Permaul for a well-constructed 68 that included 9 fours scored off 121 balls, shortly after which Singh got to his 100 and the lone one of the contest, having faced 234 balls, hitting 10 fours and one six at 306 for 6.
He departed shortly after for 109, caught by Gudakesh Motie-Kanhai at long on off Permaul with the score at 329 for 8, after seeing the demise of Kemo Paul for 14, but Jason Sinclair who was unbeaten on 13, finished the game with a crisp four off Narsingh Deonarine, having at the other end Amir Khan who was on 2.
The second and final practice match will be contested at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence, from Tuesday November 4 at which time Barbados’ Raymond Reifer the lone foreigner in the Guyana Jaguars lineup, would have arrived and conducted his fitness test et al.