TWENTY-TWO wickets fell on an extraordinary opening day, leaving the day/night Cricket West Indies Regional four-day encounter between the Guyana Jaguars and Trinidad and Tobago Red Force intriguingly poised at Providence.
The seam attack from both sides took the honours on day one with the Red Force, after deciding to bat first, being bundled out for 120, before the Jaguars then tumbled for 165 in reply, to eke out a 45-run first innings lead to keep their noses in front.
Led by Romario Shepherd’s sensational figures of 5-24, the four-time defending champions took the early advantage after the tourists were all out in 32.1 overs, and barring Anthony Bramble (62), the hosts remaining batsmen were equally profligate at the crease and were bundled out inside 42 overs.
The Jaguars batting slump fell apart in the face of probing spells from Daniel St Clair (3-29), Odean Smith (3-37), Anderson Phillips (2-63) and a wicket apiece for spinners Khary Pierre and Imran Khan.
Batting a second time, the tourists lost Jeremy Solozano off the innings first ball from Shepherd and Tion Webster, leg before wicket to Sherfane Rutherford to reach stumps at 17-2.
Earlier, fellow seamers Rutherford (2-31), Raymond Reifer (1-20), Christopher Barnwell (1-26), and left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul (1-13) complemented Shepherd’s first innings figures.
Khan, Webster and Smith contributed 37, 30 and 19 respectively, but none of their team-mates joined them on double figures as the visitors were forced to battle hard against the Jaguars seam attack on a hot and humid afternoon.
The 24-year-old Shepherd used his height and the new ball to confuse the Trinidadian batsmen. The out-swinger was the tall fast bowler’s stock delivery as he broke the backbone of the Red Force’s batting with an opening spell of 3-15.
The visitors’ top-order batsmen failed to resist against the Jaguars pace bowlers, and were reduced to 14-4 at one stage.
However, the one-sided day was quickly set in motion by Reifer, who started the demolition process when he had Joshua Da Silva taken at third slip without scoring in the day’s second over before the strongly-built Shepherd ripped apart the top order with the wickets of Solozano (6), Denesh Ramdin (1) and Jason Mohammed without scoring.
At that point, Webster added 28 runs with Pierre, but under-rated medium pacers Rutherford and his Demerara Cricket Club teammate, Barnwell, stepped to the fore and delivered three wickets to further undermine the tourists, and by the first break they were reduced to 94-7.
Khan helped himself to eight boundaries on both sides of the break but Permaul continued the Jaguars’ dominance by removing Daniel St Clair while Shepherd claimed the final two wickets, for his second five-wicket haul in first-class cricket.
The visitors then made early progress with the ball in order to avoid further humiliation, with the home team suffering yet another top-order batting collapse, and were 22-3 at one stage. Openers Tagenarine Chanderpaul and Chandrapaul Hemraj, along with captain Leon Johnson remained a shaky edifice for the Jaguars.
The left-handed Hemraj (4) was the first to go, caught behind off Phillips. St Clair then removed Chanderpaul (8) off a return catch before he bowled Johnson without scoring.
Barnwell hit three well-timed boundaries but, upon resumption after play was interrupted due to floodlight failure to two of the towers, he was trapped leg before to St Clair for 20.
Smith was brought into the attack and straight away removed Vishaul Singh (17), Reifer (0) and Rutherford (11), to a senseless shot.
Bramble and Shepherd added 40 for the eight wicket before both went in quick succession to left-arm spinner Pierre, and Phillips respectively, while Khan brought an end to the innings.
Play resumes today at 14:00hrs.
T&T Red Force 1st innings
J Solozano c Barnwell b Shepherd 6
J Da Silva c Singh b Reifer 0
T Webster c Bramble b Rutherford 30
D Ramdin c Bramble b Shepherd 1
J Mohammed c Lewis b Shepherd 0
K Pierre c Bramble b Barnwell 5
I Khan c Singh b Shepherd 37
O Smith b Rutherford 19
D St Clair lbw b Permaul 7
B Charles not out 4
A Phillips c Bramble b Shepherd 0
Extras: (b-4, lb-2, nb-5) 11
Total: (all out; 32.1 overs) 120
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-11, 3-14, 4-14, 5-42, 6-54, 7-78, 8-108, 9-116, 10-120
Bowling: Shepherd 9.1-4-24-5, Reifer 7-1-20-1, Barnwell 6-1-26-1, Rutherford 7-0-31-2, Permaul 3-0-13-1
Guyana Jaguars 1st innings
T Chanderpaul c & b St Clair 8
C Hemraj c Ramdin b Phillips 4
V Singh lbw b Smith 17
L Johnson b St Clair 0
C Barnwell lbw b St Clair 20
A Bramble b Phillips 62
R Reifer c Da Silva b Smith 0
S Rutherford c Ramdin b Smith 11
R Shepherd lbw b Pierre 18
R Lewis not out 10
V Permaul lbw b Khan 5
Extras: (b-1, lb-5, nb-4) 10
Total: (all out; 41.1 overs) 165
Fall of wickets: 1-14, 2-14, 3-22, 4-42, 5-87, 6-87, 7-103, 8-143, 9-159, 10-165
Bowling: Phillip 14-1-63-2, St Clair 8-4-29-3, Smith 6-1-37-3, Pierre 12-5-27-1, Khan 1.1-0-3-1
T&T Red Force 2nd innings
J Solozano c Bramble b Shepherd 0
J Da Silva not out 10
T Webster lbw b Rutherford 7
Total: (for two wickets; 7.4 overs) 17
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-17
Bowling: Shepherd 4-1-10-1, Reifer 3-2-4-0, Rutherford 0.4-0-3-1