Hemraj puts Jaguars in semis despite Walton hundred

Sunday, February 18, 2018

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ST JOHN'S, Antigua (CMC) — Guyana Jaguars weathered a sparkling hundred from Chadwick Walton and four frustrating rain interruptions to beat Jamaica Scorpions by four wickets, and book their place in the final four of the Regional Super50.

Set a revised target of 212 following the last rain break at Coolidge Cricket Ground the odds always favoured Jaguars especially after their frenetic start.And they got over the line with eight balls remaining in the day/night contest here Friday night.

The victory took them top of Group B on 26 points from their full complement of matches, leaving Scorpions and English county Kent and Scorpions – second and third, respectively – to tussle for the last remaining semi-final spot in the group.

Walton almost denied Jaguars with his second hundred in three days and his fourth overall at this level, when he hammered 104 from 111 deliveries as Scorpions, opting to bat first, reached a competitive 264 for eight off their 50 overs.

Odean Smith blasted an unbeaten 32 from 19 balls batting at number 10 while opener Steven Taylor gathered a patient 32 and Brandon King, 29.

In reply, Jaguars were given a flying start by Chandrapaul Hemraj who propelled the innings with an audacious 80 from from 65 deliveries.

All-rounder Chris Barnwell extended his excellent form with 56 while opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul, in for his first match of the campaign, made 27.

The victory appeared much more straightforward with Hemraj and Barnwell in command but Peat Salmon's intervention pull things back for Scorpions, as the off-spinner picked up four for 28 from an excellent eight-over spell.

Needing a victory to assure themselves of a place in the semi-finals, Jaguars showed great intent up front in their run chase with the left-handed opening pair of Hemraj and Chanderpaul putting on 68 off 54 deliveries.

Hemraj was superb, smashing six fours and five sixes in an entertaining innings while Chanderpaul supported in a 34-ball knock that included five boundaries.

Salmon's belated introduction saw Scorpions hit back as Chanderpaul skewed a catch to a short third man and captain Leon Johnson (14) drove another to mid-off.

On 81 for two in the 13th over, Jaguars then benefited from an 86-run, third wicket partnership between Hemraj and Barnwell that kept their side ahead of the Duckworth/Lewis par score.

Hemraj reached his half-century in the 17th over with a towering straight six off left-arm spinner Fabian Allen, but fell to a brilliant diving catch by Trevon Grifftith at backward point off Taylor's offspin in the 26th over.

Barnwell struck five fours and a pair of sixes and looked to be taking Jaguars to victory when he played across a straight, fullish one from Salmon and was lbw in the 35th over.

Another couple wickets fell as Jaguars neared their target, but the result was never really in doubt.

Walton had earlier lashed nine fours and three sixes while anchoring three half-century stands to put Scorpions in a relatively strong position.

The right-hander added 54 for the first wicket with Griffith (21), and a further 74 with Taylor for the second wicket before putting on 61 for the fourth with King, after Taylor and Andre McCarthy (0) fell in successive deliveries to Jamaican leg-spinner Ramaal Lewis (2-36).

Walton eventually perished at the end of the 40th over when he played back to one from left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul and was bowled off-stump.

His was one of five wickets to fall for 17 runs, leaving Scorpions tottering on 206 for eight in the 46th over. But Smith and Alwyn Williams added an exhilarating 58 from 25 balls in an unbroken ninth wicket stand, to give their side a late thrust.




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