Jaguars on top after Paul’s 6-wicket haul

2018-2019 Regional 4-Day Tournament…

Keemo Paul continued from where he left off on day two, picking up his third five-wicket haul at the First-class level. Paul ended with brilliant figures of 6-57 in 17 overs, to bowl out Windwards Islands Volcanoes for 209 in the first innings, in reply to Jaguars 454-9. Leon Johnson enforced the follow-on and Volcanoes ended day three on 167-3, after Devon Smith fell for 65.
The penultimate day’s play at Providence, East Bank Demerara, between the Volcanoes and Jaguars began with a Keemo Paul over, who was searching for his fifth victim. Volcanoes batsmen in Dennis Smith and Alick Athanaze went out to bat aiming to avoid the follow-on by, which they required to score 305 runs. Dennis Smith, the nephew of Devon Smith, opened the scoring account for the Volcanoes on day three, with a leg bye and then he clipped a ball off his pads for four. Volcanoes crossed the 100 run mark in the first over, with young Athanaze batting with maturity.
The Dominican, Athanaze who turned 20 December last, continued to bat with great composure, playing another gutsy knock for his team. In the first round, Athanaze scored a half-century against the same Jaguars team and he was unbothered by some testing Jaguars bowling. In the morning session, Smith and Athanaze brought up their 50-run partnership, with Athanaze reaching his second First-class half century. Soon after the drinks break, Shepherd found the outside edge of Smith, who was brilliantly caught by Johnson at first-slip with the score on 171-6 after 50 overs.
It was worth the wait as it took 17.3 overs for the Jaguars to take the first wicket of the day; breaking the 90-run sixth wicket partnership. Smith was out for a composed 37 that included six fours that came from 93 balls. Seven runs later, a Keemo Paul brilliance saw the seventh wicket fall; Larry Edwards played a false shot that went into Paul’s hands, off his own bowling. The Essequiban, Paul reached a well-deserved landmark, his third 5-wicket haul at the First-class level, as he proved his worth as an international swing bowler.
Volcanoes were in all sorts of trouble, with 200 runs looking miles away, they slipped and slid to 186-8. The promising Athanaze innings came to an end when a Shepherd ball bounced more than usual and he was out caught behind by the brilliant wicket-keeper, Bramble. An elegant left handed Athanaze spent 162 minutes at the crease and faced 114 balls scoring an attractive 66 that included 11 fours and one six.
Keemo Paul continued to pick up wickets, bowling Sherman Lewis for 4 with the score on 186-9, in 59.4 overs. Paul continued to cause problems for the Volcanoes, as a bit of controversy took place in 61st over, when Josh Thomas edged one behind and was surprisingly given not out. After the buzzing around the stands about the premature decision by umpire Nigel Dugid, the 200-run came up for the Volcanoes with Ray Jordan hitting Shepherd out of the attack, with boundaries.
However, the final Volcanoes first innings wicket came with the introduction of Permaul at the media centre end, when he trapped Josh Thomas in front. The Volcanoes were bowled out for 209 in 64.1 overs and were still behind by 245 runs, Jordan was left stranded scoring 18, with lunch being taken. Bowling for the Jaguars, Paul had his second six wicket haul at this level, ending with 6-57 from 17 overs, including three maidens and conceding nine fours. Romario Shepherd ended with 2-47 from 11 overs while Permaul continued his consistent run, grabbing 2-38 in 18.1 overs.
Jaguar’s captain, Leon Johnson enforced the follow-on with Volcanoes trailing by 245 runs. At 12:30h after the lunch interval, Windward Volcanoes openers went out to bat for the second time in the match. Devon Smith and Taryk Gabriel went out to bat aiming to redeem themselves after adding only a 38-run partnership in the first innings.
Three slips and a gully, Paul charges in from the southern end with his daunting out swingers. Jaguar’s bowlers remained patient and front-line pace trio in Paul, Shepherd and Pestano bowled very consistent line and lengths. It was the introduction of Sherfane Rutherford when the break-through came in the 12th over in the second innings.

Devon Smith walks back after being dismissed (Brandon Corlette photo)

Rutherford, who bowls brisk medium fast was on the money, when Gabriel played away from his body and edged one into Bramble’s gloves. The right-handed Gabriel scored 16 off 34 balls, including two fours with the score on 34-1. The experienced campaigner in Devon Smith was playing himself in, looking to score big. A full ball outside off stump bowled by Motie, saw the left-handed Smith drives one past cover for four as Volcanoes reached 50 within 21 overs. Cato and Smith safely saw Volcanoes to tea with the score on 62-1 after 25 overs. Smith was unbeaten on 32 while Cato was on 11 with the partnership on 27 at that point.
Resuming after the tea interval, the final session was underway, the second ball bowled by Permaul was played into the leg-side for four. Cato continued his boundary hitting, when he repeated in the Motie over, as the partnership continued to grow. Smith was timing the ball beautifully while Cato continued to bat positive. The 76-run partnership came to an end when Cato edged a Keemo Paul delivery and was caught behind. Bramble was standing up at the stumps when he take a great reflex catch; Cato fell for 36 from 65 balls inclusive of five boundaries. Kirk Edwards partnered Smith with the score on 110-2 and the left-handed Smith brought up his 59th half-century in First-class cricket.
Shepherd charged in from the media end and captured the prize wicket of Devon Smith with the score on 138-3 in 44 overs. Smith was out caught behind by Bramble in what looked to be a controversial dismissal. The veteran batsman who scored 65 from 128 balls hitting eight fours, claimed that his bat hit the ground and carried to Bramble.
Kirk Edwards, who failed with the bat in the first innings, was partnered by Kaveem Hodge after Smith fell at 15:47h. Edwards looked good playing some good shots as himself and Hodge saw Volcanoes to stumps at 167-3 in 58 overs. The Volcanoes captain, Edwards is unbeaten on 40 while Hodge is on three.
The final day’s play will commence form 09:30h with Volcanoes behind by 78 runs, with a possible Jaguars victory on the cards once more.