ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Veerasammy Permaul was back to his destructive best and gave Guyana Jaguars the early edge over Windward Islands in the Digicel 4-Day Championship.
The diminutive left-arm spinner with the whippy action failed to take a wicket in the previous round against Barbados Pride, but he pushed his tally of wickets for the season pass 30 to trigger a Volcanoes batting collapse at the Guyana National Stadium on the first day of the sixth round of matches.
In the key battle at Sabina Park, John Campbell and Derval Green brushed aside concerns that Jamaica Scorpions may miss regular captain and champion left-arm spinner Nikita Miller when they led the demolition of the Trinidad & Tobago Red Force batting.
And, Windies “A” Team “Test” captain Shamarh Brooks and rookie left-handed opener Shayne Moseley hit purposeful half-centuries to help Barbados Pride erase bad memories of their second-round match against Leeward Islands Hurricanes with a strong start to their match at Warner Park.
Volcanoes (117) vs Jaguars 78-2 in Providence, Guyana
Permaul grabbed 5-40 from 21.3 overs to lead the demolition of the Volcanoes’ batting after they were put in to bat.
Volcanoes’ captain Tyrone Theophile hit the top score of 33 and wicketkeeper/batsman Dennis Smith was the only batsman to reach 20, as the batting caved in under the pressure of mean, tight bowling from the Jaguars.
There were no significant batting partnerships for which the win-less Volcanoes could hang their hats until Shane Shillingford came to the crease and put on 33 for the eighth wicket with Smith to take the visitors past 100.
After this, the innings went into swift decline with former Windies Under-19 left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie taking 2-11 from six overs and Sherfane Rutherford bagging 2-27 in 10 overs.
Jaguars lost the wickets of Chanderpaul Hemraj following an opening stand of 48 with Tagenarine Chanderpaul, and their captain, Test batsman Leon Johnson in quick succession – but they were within sight of taking the lead and setting the pace for the rest of the game.
Red Force (243) vs Scorpions 16-0 in Kingston, Jamaica
Campbell grabbed 4-40 from 17.5 overs with his part-time off-spin and fast-medium bowler Green snared 4-45 from 19 overs, as the Red Force were bowled out about half-hour before the close.
Campbell, the Windies “A” Team opener, returned to finish not out on 14 and fellow left-hander Trevon Griffith was not out on two, as they batted through until stumps were drawn in fading light.
Miller, whose 23 wickets and stubborn lower-order batting in the previous two matches has sparked a Scorpions revival, flies out of the Caribbean this week destined for New Zealand, where he will be a part of the West Indies One-day International squad for a series of three matches against the hosts.
The Scorpions had concerns about the ability of their bowling to take 20 wickets – but Campbell and Green eased their worries.
Jeremy Solozano hit the top score of 62 for the Red Force, Ewart Nicholson supported with 50, Amir Jangoo made 39 and Tion Webser added 29 before the visitors’ innings closed quietly.
Red Force started solidly with Jangoo and Solozano sharing 71 for the first wicket, but they stumbled to 110 for two at lunch.
Nicholson led a recovery in the afternoon session, sharing 73 for the third wicket with Solozano before his dismissal triggered a mini collapse and Red Force went in to tea on 188 for five.
After the break, there was token resistance from the rest of the Red Force batting, as Green and Campbell worked their way through the tail and tightened the Scorpions’ grip.
Pride (174-2) vs Hurricanes in Basseterre, St. Kitts
Brooks hit 79 and Moseley was unbeaten on 70, as the Pride batted through a rain-hit day.
Brooks and Moseley shared 168 for the second wicket to help the visitors quickly erase the bad memories of the second-round contest at Kensington Oval in Barbados, where the Hurricanes blew them away in two days.
Unlike that previous match, when the pace bowlers led the demolition, Hurricanes captain Rahkeem Cornwall has been the sole wicket-taker so far, grabbing 2-58 from 25 overs, including the prized scalp of his Brooks, his West Indies “A” Team “Test” captain.
After the start was delayed until after the scheduled lunch interval, Pride lose left-handed opener Anthony Alleyne lbw to Cornwall for 21 in the 12th over.
But Brooks and Moseley gave the batting a spark that has been missing in recent matches.