… Chanderpaul unbeaten on marathon unbeaten 71
WICKETKEEPER/batsman Anthony Bramble led Guyana Jaguars’ spirited fightback with his third first-class century and stole the limelight on day one of the fourth round Cricket West Indies (CWI) Regional Four-day encounter between the title-holders and the Windward Islands Volcanoes.
The 28-year-old Bramble sends a timely message to the regional selectors ahead of the West Indies/England Test series with an unruffled 168, his second consecutive hundred of the season.
Watched by a handful of spectators at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence, the right-hander’s effort with the bat has been instrumental in taking Jaguars to 307-6 when bails were lifted.
Bramble stonewalled the Volcanoes’ bowling attack for little more than three hours, with a barrage of strokes that tilted the day’s play firmly in the hosts’ favour as the Berbician belted 17 boundaries and six sixes in an innings which spanned 153 balls.
While Bramble went for his strokes, Tagenarine Chanderpaul was quite content to play a supporting role, as the duo stitched 209 runs for the fourth-wicket, with Chanderpaul remaining unbeaten on 71. His innings came off 297 balls, 362 minutes with just four boundaries.. Romario Shepherd is the other not-out batsman on five.
The Jaguars, who made four changes from their last game, won the toss and opted to bat, but the Volcanoes seam bowlers exploited the early conditions superbly, beating the bat on numerous occasions, resulting in their spurning a couple of key opportunities upfront.
Opener Trevon Griffith (14), hit a boundary each off pacers Josh Thomas and Shermon Lewis but edged an excellent delivery from Thomas to wicketkeeper Denis Smith while Leon Johnson did not fare much better after edging Lewis to Roland Cato at gully for five.
Johnson’s dismissal prompted the arrival of Hetmyer, who was faced with the task of building, at 27-2, with fellow left-hander Chanderpaul, who was playing his usual endurance style.
The duo added an unbroken stand of 43 before lunch as Hetmyer settled into a nice rhythm, hitting three fours in his unbeaten 26.
Patience is Chanderpaul’s strength so it was not unusual for his first four to take 93 balls and by the interval he was unbeaten on 18 from 95 balls.
Resuming at 70-2, the 22-year-old Hetmyer showed batting indiscipline when he flashed the third ball of the session from Ray Jordan and was brilliantly caught by Devon Smith at third slip.
However, Bramble, one of two Guyanese batsmen to have scored a century this season, joined Chanderpaul and began the rebuilding process without major alarm.
Bramble, the West Indies B team captain, was able to gather runs at a decent pace – rotating the strike well and putting away the bad balls – as he dominated the stand as the session progressed.
Bramble reached his fifty, his tenth at this level off just 52 balls, finding the boundary on eight occasions and then taking another 32 balls to reach the milestone, hitting three additional fours and four sixes.
On the other hand, Chanderpaul occasionally came out his shell, hitting one additional boundary during that session. He had no problems in wearing down the tourists’ bowlers, as the pair continued untroubled until the interval, at 212-3.
On a track getting increasingly easier to bat on, Bramble continued his flamboyant stroke-play, to reach the 150-run mark off 131 balls. Soon after, Chanderpaul registered his fifth off 233 balls.
But the hosts lost a flurry of wickets thereafter, including Bramble and Sherfane Rutherford (0), in the space of three balls to Thomas while Keemo Paul was run-out for three.
Play resumes at 09:30hrs today.
GUYANA Jaguars 1st innings
T. Chanderpaul not out 71
T. Griffith c wkp. Denis Smith b Thomas 14
L. Johnson c Cato b Lewis 5
S. Hetmyer c Devon Smith b Jordan 26
A. Bramble c Devon Smith b Thomas 168
S. Rutherford c wkp. Denis Smith b Thomas 0
K. Paul run-out (Lewis) 3
R. Shepherd not out 5
Extras: (lb-2, nb-13) 15
Total: (six wickets, 90 overs) 307
Fall of wickets: 1-22, 2-27, 3-71, 4-280, 5-280, 6-290.
Bowling: Thomas 17-2-63-3, Lewis 16-4-57-1, Jordan 14-2-41-1, Edwards 25-7-59-0, Hodge 15-2-64-0, Athanaze 3-0-21-0.