Hemraj dazzles with bat and ball in final practice match

Story and photos by Brandon Corlette

The Guyana Jaguars’ final practice match at La Bonne Intention, ECD was converted into the Chandrapaul Hemraj Show, as the left-hander got good practice for the upcoming Regional Super50 in claiming 5-24 and scoring an unbeaten 93*.
The Jaguars were aiming to get in as much batting practice as possible, utilising the full complement of 50 overs in the final innings. Singh’s XI batted first and scored 175 all out in 39.2 overs, while Johnson’s XI scored 177-5 in 30.4 overs.

Hetmyer was cleaned up by Nial Smith for a second duck in as many practice matches

Hemraj struck 93*, which included eight fours and six imperious maximums. And as the match was extended, Hemraj eventually scored 109 before he was caught-and-bowled by Devendra Bishoo.

Chandrapaul Hemraj batting during his impressive knock

Earlier, Singh’s XI took first strike, and lost Kevlon Anderson for a duck with the score on 1-1. Assad Fudadin then got into his groove and hit Renaldo AliMohamed for clean sixes, one into the covers and one over long-off.
Tevin Imlach came and went for eight, while the man called ‘Badyr’ continued to play some stylish strokes.
Fudadin dominated the 47-run partnership with Imlach, but
after hitting three sixes and four fours, he was adjudged leg before for a shot-filled 39, with the score on 64-3.
Hemraj locked the bottom end, bowling seven overs in an impressive spell that yielded five wickets. The part-time left-arm spinner got the ball to spin, and Singh’s XI lost five wickets for 33 runs as they slumped from 65-4 to 97-8.
Romario Shepherd and fellow Berbician Kevin Sinclair added 24 runs for the ninth wicket, before Shepherd found a reliable partner in Gudakesh Motie and the duo took the score from 121-9 to 175 all out, hitting 54 runs for the final wicket.

Assad Fudadin looked aggressive in his fluent 39

Shepherd struck two fours and two sixes in his unbeaten 43, while Motie, owner of the off-side, struck 31 runs that were decorated with three fours, two of which split the fielders at cover.
In addition to Hemraj’s 5-24 in seven overs, Ramaal Lewis, Anthony Adams, Steven Sankar and Richie Looknauth each claimed one wicket, as Singh’s XI made 175 all out in 39.2 overs.
In pursuit of 176, Johnson’s XI had a positive start, compliments of Trevon Griffith, who scored a brisk 21, including four boundaries. He was removed with the score on 27-1.
In came Shimron Hetmyer at number three, fresh from a duck in the second practice match. Smith bowled a top delivery that moved inwards and kept a tad low, and Hetmyer’s stumps were sent cartwheeling as he departed for a golden duck with the score at 27-2.
Hemraj stepped on the gas, but Leon Johnson (00) was run out on a no-ball by the sharp Anderson at backward point, and the score quickly became 39-3 as Smith, like a laser beam, kept probing away.
On another free hit, Barnwell found Anderson in the hot-spot at backward point and was caught.
Hemraj then hit Smith out of the attack in a 14-run over, and the Hemraj-Barnwell partnership blossomed. The duo added 88 runs before Barnwell was brilliantly taken at the boundary by Ricardo Adams for 34, with the score at 127-4.
Akshaya Persaud made six, and departed with the score on 147-5 in 25.2 overs; but Anthony Bramble (09) and Hemraj 93 were unbeaten when the target was achieved in 30.4 overs.
The players eventually exited the field with Johnson’s XI having recorded 209-3 after 39.2 overs. Smith had claimed 2-24 in four overs, while Ricardo Adams had 2-14 in six overs, and Bishoo had 2-27 in 5.2 overs.
The Jaguars have now concluded their practice matches, and will next undergo their COVID-19 tests before their January 30 expected departure to contest the Regional Super50 Cup in Antigua& Barbuda from February 7-27.