Johnson’s half-century lights up Providence on Day 2
GCB trial matches…
– squad likely to be announced today
By Brandon Corlette
Guyana Jaguars Captain Leon Johnson was at his best during his unbeaten half-century, in preparation for the Cricket West Indies (CWI) Regional Four-Day tournament scheduled for December 6, 2018.
In the second and final trial match played at the National Stadium, Providence, East Bank Demerara (EBD), Vishal Singh’s XI took first strike continuing from Thursday’s rain-affected first day.
Singh’s XI were bowled out on the second day for 153, with number nine batter Ramaal Lewis stroking yet another unbeaten innings. Lewis, the Jamaica-born player, stroked a shot-filled 48, which was the top-score after Rajendra Chandrika made 29 runs earlier in the day.
Earlier in the match, Singh’s XI opener Robin Bacchus added only 12, with Bacchus being removed by Keon Joseph for 11. Former West Indies Under-19 wicket-keeper batsman Tevin Imlach, batting at number 3, scored 13 until the lively Clinton Pestano purchased his wicket. Wickets continued to tumble as the middle-order batters failed to rebuild the innings. Vishaul Singh, who seemed to be having a bad patch, scored four, along with Bhaskar Yadram. Romario Shepherd and Renaldo Ali-Mohammed failed to trouble the scorers with two ducks each, with Ali-Mohammed falling to a run-out. Veersammy Permaul and Lewis then stood strong, but Permaul was beaten for turn and bounce and was out caught for 12.
Lewis continued to prove to the selectors that he is a well-equipped batter, stroking Keon Joseph for an effortless six over the mid-wicket region. Along with that six, Lewis showcased his back and across technique, cutting and punching the cricket ball around the Providence outfield.
Richie Looknauth (03) was the final batsman dismissed, leaving Lewis stranded in yet another trial match. Bowling for Johnson’s XI, Christopher Barnwell picked up 3-15 in 10 overs, Pestano 2-44 in 15 overs and Anthony Adams collected 2-40 in 14 overs.
When given their opportunity to bat under beautiful sunshine at Providence, Johnson’s XI openers Trevon Griffith and Tagenarine Chanderpaul trotted out to bat against Shepherd and Andre Stoll, who has made his return to cricket. Shepherd bowled with extreme pace and control, removing Griffith with the score on 11. Griffith, who scored a brilliant century in the first match, was bowled for nine. Stoll, one of the few left-hand quick bowlers in Guyana, was given an opportunity to bowl against both sides in order for the batters to feel prepared against left-arm fast bowlers the likes of Windward Islands Volcanoes’ Delron Johnson.
Leon Johnson, with class and grace written all over his batting, then partnered Tagenarine and the pair batted until close of play. Johnson was at his very best, stroking exquisite cover drives and hitting the ball on the up effortlessly. Tagenarine was solid as a rock until a top edge that resulted in a six and a missed opportunity. However, no further hiccups occurred with Johnson’s XI ending the day in the driver’s seat on 104-1; Tagenarine is on 38 while Johnson is on 56. Play continues today, the third and final day, at the National Stadium, where the squad may be announced afterwards.