ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Five-time defending champions Guyana Jaguars beat Leeward Islands Hurricanes, and Windward Islands Volcanoes toppled Barbados Pride to gain an early boost of confidence in the West Indies Championship on Sunday.
West Indies international Raymon Reifer and debutant, fellow pacer Nial Smith shared the last four Hurricanes wickets before openers Tagenarine Chanderpaul and Chandrapaul Hemraj swiftly erased a small target to give Jaguars a 10-wicket victory in North Sound on the final day of first round matches in the Championship.
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Volcanoes, led by half-centuries from hometown boy Desron Maloney and their captain Kavem Hodge, successfully chased 269 to claim a morale-boosting, three-wicket victory over Pride in Kingstown, St. Vincent.
And, former captain Paul Palmer became the third century-maker in the contest in Tarouba, Trinidad, when he collected his second first-class hundred to lead defiant batting from Jamaica Scorpions, which earned them a draw with Trinidad & Tobago Red Force.
Jaguars (388) & 24-0 beat Hurricanes (154) & (254 f/o) by 10 wickets at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground
Reifer and Smith grabbed two wickets apiece and the Jaguars needed just over an hour to wrap up the Hurricanes second innings, after the hosts resumed from their overnight total of 214 for six.
Left-arm pacer Reifer ended with 3-55 from 15 overs and Smith finished with 2-41 from 13 overs for match figures of 8-96, making him a shoo-in for the Player of the Match award.
Hurricanes captain Jahmar Hamilton once again was like the cliched captain on the sinking ship, standing firm with 37 not out to follow up his first innings top score of 52.
The Jaguars opening pair needed 3.4 overs to clear the 21 needed for victory with Chanderpaul formalising the result in grand style with a four, six and four off successive deliveries from pacer Quinton Boatswain.
Red Force (460-4 dec) drew with Scorpions (278) & 300-8 (f/o) at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy
With Scorpions needing to bat from the start of play to the close to avoid defeat, Palmer rose to the challenge and gathered an undefeated 116 to save them and earn the Player of the Match award.
He shared 131 for the third wicket with Jermaine Blackwood, after the West Indies batsman extended his overnight, second wicket partnership with Assad Fudadin to 50.
Blackwood scored 78 and Fudadin made 34, but none of the other batsmen that appeared at the crease for the Scorpions on the day reached 20, which made the outcome more remarkable.
Akeal Hosein again led the attack for the Red Force with 3-65 from 35 overs; fellow left-arm spinner Yannick Ottley and off-spinner Bryan Charles took two wickets apiece.
Pride (233) & (269) lost to Volcanoes (234) & 272-7 by three wickets at the Arnos Vale Cricket Ground
Maloney led the way with 83 and Hodge made 60 to set up the Volcanoes charge to victory, after losing veteran opener Devon Smith cheaply, early in the chase.
The pair shared 109 for the second wicket before Maloney added 63 for the third wicket with former Pride captain and international batsman Kirk Edwards to take Volcanoes to 191 for two.
But three wickets – two to West Indies left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican – sent Volcanoes stumbling to 220 for five.
Familiarity bred success for Keron Cottoy however, and he drew on his knowledge of the opposition, having played club matches in Barbados, to guide the Volcanoes over the finish line.
Cottoy sealed the result, when he swung a delivery from Pride captain Kraigg Brathwaite to deep mid-wicket for four.
Warrican ended with 3-68 from 31 overs to be the pick of the Pride bowlers.
Volcanoes off-spinner Shane Shillingford was adjudged Player of the Match.