Barbados Pride and Guyana Jaguars are locked in an intriguing battle after their first day of their ninth round clash in the 2017/18 Cricket West Indies/ Digicel 4-day Championship at the Kensington Oval on Thursday.
Pride fielding a start-studded team won the toss and inserted the visitors who reached stumps at 184-5 in the 66 overs possible on the rain- affected day. Veteran batsman Shivanrine Chanderpaul and Test player Raymon Reifer were at the crease on three and one respectively when umpires called off play due to bad light.
The truncated day belonged to opener Chandrapaul Hemraj whose attractive and positive stroke-play brought him on the cusp of recording his maiden First-Class century after 15 matches.
The left-hander fell for a well-composed 90 just three overs before the tea interval, gloving a short-ball down the leg-side to the keeper which gave former Windies under-19 pacer Chamar Holder his first wicket at his level.
His knock composed contained ten fours and two maximums and also shared in a threatening 148 –run partnership for the second wicket with captain Leon Johnson.
When play began at 10:40 due to a rain-delay, speedster Kemar Roach struck with the second ball of the day via steaming yorker which up-rooted the middle-stump of Tagenarine Chandrapaul.
Hemraj on 25 and Johnson on 23 took the four-time champions to lunch on 58-1 and the second session is where the 24 year-old Hemraj grew in stature with his immaculate shot selection.
The session saw 97 runs being added and Hemraj the only casualty as the skipper progressed to 48 and Vishaul Singh now starting his innings on two. The score was now 155-2.
It was the final session of the day where the pendulum swung in favour of the hosts as Johnson was dismissed by Holder for 56 after battling to his 33rd First-Class half-century. The Test batsman faced 207 deliveries and stroked just nine boundaries.
Singh could only add nine to his team-time score and the in-form Anthony Bramble fell for just four, bringing Pride right back into the heated contest.
Should the rain vacate today, it promises to be a hive action when play resumes at 09:30 hrs.