Hemraj sets sight on scoring tons in last 3 rounds
By Brandon Corlette
Guyana Jaguars 25-year-old premier opening batsman, Chandrapaul Hemraj has crossed the 250-run barrier this season in the three matches he played. Speaking after Guyana Jaguars triumph over Jamaica Scorpions at the National Stadium, Providence, Hemraj revealed that he has his eyes set on scoring two more centuries in the upcoming three rounds.
Hemraj explained that this season he is feeling confident at the crease and his 29-ball innings of 42 was one of his typical free-flowing knocks. Having lost the first innings to the Scorpions, it was important for Jaguars to start well in the chase, Hemraj disclosed. He and his fellow opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul added 57 runs together in the second innings. The given scenario gave Hemraj the licence to play his natural game and set the tone in a relatively small, but tricky chase.
In the ongoing 2018-2019 Cricket West Indies (CWI) Regional 4-Day Tournament, the West Indies One-Day International (ODI) player played three matches for the Jaguars scoring 251 runs at an average of 41.83. Hemraj’s best innings this season came against a Barbados Pride team that included Windies Test bowlers against whom he smashed an extravagant 144.
It was Hemraj’s maiden century at the First-Class level; his top-notch innings came off 172 balls in 241 minutes with 20 fours and four sixes. In Guyana Jaguars’ sixth-round clash against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force at the Queen’s Park Oval, Hemraj was timing the ball sweetly, but had scores of 22 and 30.
The elegant left-hander said his dismissals in Trinidad were unfortunate and in the next match, he was seeking to score big for his team.
He then lauded his captain Leon Johnson’s Player-of-the-Match performance. “It’s very important as the skipper to lead from the front, and his form will give the other
batsmen confidence,” Hemraj related.
The flamboyant opener, who has played six ODIs for the West Indies, has had scores of 144, 09, 22, 30, 04 and 42 this season for the Jaguars. He also featured in the CWI President’s XI team that played two practice matches against England. Hemraj opened the batting with current Test opener John Campbell and he had scores of 05, 03, and 22 in the three innings he batted.
However, it is a great feeling for Hemraj to gain exposure with the West Indian and other international players. Having made his First-Class debut in March 2012, in Hemraj’s 22 matches thus far, he has a batting average of 29.52 with one century and six half-centuries, scoring a total of 1181 runs.
With years of cricket still remaining, the 25-year-old will require more consistency to continue to play cricket for the West Indies. With the 2019 Cricket World Cup around the corner, it is every cricketer’s dream to book a ticket for the monumental International Cricket Council (ICC) event set to start May-June in England. Scoring runs consistently for the Guyana Jaguars and West Indies A team, Hemraj may become Windies regular opener. With Chris Gayle ageing and Kieran Powell off the radar, Hemraj will be seeking to make hay while the sun shines.