This was one of the toughest seasons, says Captain Johnson
– Bramble, Permaul lead respective charts, Shepherd a standout
By Brandon Corlette
History is on the side of the Guyana Jaguars; the most a team has ever garnered from any single match is 21.6 points.
The Leeward Islands Hurricanes may still have their title dream alive with 131.2 points after nine rounds, but they would require a miracle to garner an unlikely 23 of the maximum 24 points to take possession of the title to which the Guyana Jaguars lay claim.
The Jaguars have signed off this season with 154.2 points. Their Anthony Bramble has had the most runs (580), and Veerasammy Permaul has snared the most wickets (42 wickets). Romario Shepherd has been the standout performer of the season, with 37 wickets snared and 315 runs scored.
Speaking after the tenth and final round of their tournament, the Jaguars’ Leon Johnson, under whose captaincy the Jaguars have won the title for a fifth consecutive occasion, said it felt good to win the title, but declared it was one of the toughest seasons for the Jaguars.
“We lost two on a bounce and then one soon after. I guess everything can’t be the same every year, but I am glad the guys put things together and came out victorious,” he said.
In the past, the Jaguars had won the title after eight rounds, having two matches to spare and giving new players a run at the first class level. Things were decidedly tougher this time. However, although lamenting critical moments that proved costly in the tough Regional 4-Day season, Johnson has praised the team for recording spirited performances as they fought to the end of the season despite the rough patches.
“This is a sign of a true championship side,” he declared. “When we were under pressure we delivered the goods.”
In the bright 2018-2019 season, the Jaguars batsmen scored only four centuries. This contrasts with the 2017-2018 season in which eight centuries were scored among the batters, with Vishaul Singh scoring two of his own.
“It was a bit disappointing that the guys, including myself, did not convert those half-centuries”, Johnson stated. “I think Bramble was exceptional this season, having scored two centuries, floating in the batting order after Raymon Reifer’s return.”
The season has been a revelation for the seven fast bowlers that played at different stages this season, the pacemen had 126 wickets combined in the 2018-2019 season, in contrast to 104 wickets in the 2017-2018 season. Johnson opined that the seamers’ performance was one of the main factors in the Jaguars’ triumph.
Johnson himself has finished the season with 480 runs. He said he had passed through some testing moments this season. He said that trying to put the team first and not overthinking assisted him to successfully discharge his responsibilities.
Anthony Bramble, who had 613 runs in the 2017-2018 season, showed consistency in finishing this season with 580 runs scored at an astonishing average of 52.72, with two centuries and one half-century to boot.
Tagenarine Chanderpaul finished second to Bramble in the run scorer’s list with 542 runs scored at an average of 33.87, with one century and one half-century on record.
Johnson was in third position with 480 runs scored at an average of 32, with five not-outs in the 20 innings he batted, and four half-centuries on record. He finished this season with five more runs than what he had scored last season.
Vishaul Singh scored 366 runs in 14 innings, averaging 28.15. He recorded three half-centuries, while Chandrapaul Hemraj scored 350 runs.
Romario Shepherd, who bailed Jaguars out of spots of bother all season, finished the batting charts with 315 runs scored at an average of 24.23. His performance included two half-centuries.
Christopher Barnwell had 307 runs; Clinton Pestano 214 runs; Raymon Reifer 213 runs, and Sherfane Rutherford 132 runs.
Permaul finished this season with eight wickets less than last season. He grabbed 42 wicket, with only one five- wicket haul on record.
Shepherd had 37 wickets, averaging 20.13; with one five-wicket haul in the mix. Reifer (26), Pestano (22) and Keemo Paul (20) were among the wickets this season.
The Hurricanes will play Barbados Pride, while the Red Force will play Jamaica in the final round of this season. Those matches will commence on Thursday, March 14.