Hemraj’s master class leaves Pride in shock on opening day
2018-2019 Regional 4-Day Tournament…
– Reifer, Bramble register half-centuries
By Brandon Corlette
Four-time defending champions Guyana Jaguars made the opening day their own with a complete batting performance led by Chandrapaul Hemraj’s 144, Raymon Reifer’s 53* and Anthony Bramble’s 51*. The Guyana Jaguars ended the day on 319-5 in 90 overs.
In the “Land of the Flying Fish” – Barbados, the man from Enterprise, East Coast Demerara, dominated the star-studded Bajan team.
Barbados Pride Captain Shamarh Brooks won the toss and gave the Guyana Jaguars the opportunity to bat on a fresh Kensington Oval pitch. Under beautiful sunshine in Bridgetown, Barbados, Chandrapaul Hemraj and Tagenarine Chanderpaul trotted out to bat – a new-look opening combination, with the returning Hemraj replacing fellow left-hander Trevon Griffith.
An aggressive Hemraj and a solid Chanderpaul produced the solid foundation that set an early tone for the dominant Jaguars team. Chanderpaul, who was once slower in his scoring rate, was overshadowed by Hemraj, who was timing the ball
with ease and grace. In the early part of Hemraj’s innings, he got going with three consecutive boundaries against Miguel Cummins in the sixth over of the day. The elegant left-hander, who played international cricket in 2018 for West Indies, was dropped on 33 in the slip cordons off the bowling of Cummins, but since then, he was brilliant.
The 134-run opening partnership dented the Barbados Pride team. It was not until the 47th over of the day that the Barbados Pride tasted their first bit of success. Chanderpaul, who consumed numerous dot deliveries, played a horrific shot trying to up his scoring rate, and his painstaking innings came to an end as he was caught for a 150-ball 37 that included six fours off the bowling of Jomel Warrican. In the process, Hemraj raced away to his half-century and was partnered by the dashing left-handed batsman, Jaguars Captain Leon Johnson. Johnson, who hit one big hit, was softly dismissed by Jason Holder. Johnson, who looked set, played a false drive and was caught and bowled by Holder with the score on 199-2 in 60 overs. Hemraj brought up his maiden century at the First-Class level.
Eventually, Hemraj’s innings concluded in the 61st over of the day when he played an Ashley Nurse delivery onto his stumps. Fittingly, the Guyanese received a standing ovation from the Barbadian crowd who enjoyed a great knock. Christopher Barnwell (05) and Vishaul Singh (09) fell cheaply in the space of two runs. Barnwell was out via the run-out route in a silly call for which he may only blame himself. Meanwhile, Singh was adjudged leg before in an unlucky decision to a Nurse ball that vividly missed the leg stump.
With the score on 214-5 in the 71st over, Raymon Reifer and a busy Anthony Bramble rubbed salt into the wounds and put the Barbados Pride team to the sword. Bramble was seeing the cricket ball as if it was a beach ball, hitting the Test bowlers in the Pride team to all parts of the ground. In an unbroken 105-run partnership between Reifer and Bramble, the former was solid in his stroke play, playing the supportive role. Reifer’s innings included nine timely fours while Bramble scored a counterattacking 53-ball 51. Bramble hit 10 fours and one maximum in his promising innings that he will be hoping to convert into his second First-Class century.
Barbados Pride bowlers toiled on a day when the Jaguars dominated them in their backyard. Nurse grabbed 2-77 in 27 overs while Holder and Warrican had one wicket each in an ordinary bowling display. With the likes of Sherfane Rutherford, Clinton Pestano and Romario Shepherd left to bat, the Jaguars will be looking to pile on valuable runs and declare in the first session.
Play continues today at 10:00h Eastern Caribbean time at the Kensington Oval.