ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Four-time defending champions Guyana Jaguars defied half-centuries from former WINDIES Under-19 star, Alick Athanaze and opener Tarryck Gabriel to open the West Indies Championship season with a comfortable 125-run victory over Windward Islands Volcanoes on Sunday.
Veteran left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul was the pick of the Jaguars bowlers, as they overcame defiant batting from the Volcanoes to stretch their unbeaten run in the Championship to 19 matches, dating back to the 2016-17 season.
It was also the Jaguars’ seventh win over the Volcanoes in their last nine matches and keep their five-year unbeaten run against this opponent in place.
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At the same time, Terrance Warde and WINDIES fast bowler Alzarri Joseph shared seven wickets to bowl Leeward Islands Hurricanes to an unlikely, 34-run victory over Barbados Pride at the Three Ws Oval.
Jaguars (224 & 310-4 dec) beat Volcanoes (187 & 222) by 125 runs in Gros-Islet, St. Lucia
Athanaze hit the top score of 64 that included five fours and two sixes from 138 balls, and Gabriel hit seven fours in 57 from 124 balls.
But their bid for Volcanoes’ survival was not enough, as Permaul snared 3-56 from 23 overs to lead the Jaguars’ attack and three other bowlers ended with two wickets apiece.
Starting the day on 54 for two, the Volcanoes got some early stability, as Kavem Hodge and Gabriel completed a 54-run, third-wicket stand.
The dismissal of Hodge – caught at mid-off off Permaul for 32 – triggered a shaky period for the Volcanoes, as they lost three wickets and slipped from 88 for two to 114 for five.
A sixth-wicket stand of 88 either side of lunch between Athanaze and Denis Smith frustrated the Jaguars for over an hour and took the Volcanoes past the 200-run mark.
Smith was caught at cover off Christopher Barnwell for 38 and the home team lost their way and the last five wickets for 20 in the space of 55 balls.
Clinton Pestano was named Player-of-the-Match for his all-round showing in the match.
Hurricanes (252 & 165) beat Pride (248 & 135) by 34 runs in Cave Hill, Barbados
Warde grabbed 4-33 from 15.5 overs to lead the demolition of the Pride batting, Joseph supported with 3-16 from 13 overs and leg-spinner Damion Jacobs added 2-37 from 10 overs, as the home team were bowled out inside the final half-hour before tea.
The result was formalised, when former WINDIES Under-19 World Cup-winning star Chemar Holder mistimed a lofted drive at a delivery from Warde and was caught at mid-off for a first-ball duck.
Chasing 170 for victory and resuming from their overnight total of 13 for one, the hosts stumbled to 82 for four at lunch, and suffered a huge setback in the first over after the interval, when their captain Sharmarh Brooks was one of six batsmen that was bowled in the innings.
Brooks led the way with 32, wicketkeeper/batsman Tevyn Walcott made 30 and Jonathan Carter got 24, but there was little stability from the Pride batting and they suffered their second straight defeat to the Hurricanes on home soil in this format.
Hurricanes opener Keacy Carty was named Player-of-the-Match for his first innings hundred.