Four-time reigning champions, Guyana Jaguars, held their nerve to beat star-studded Barbados Pride by six wickets on a dramatic final day here Monday, and extend their lead at the top of the Regional Four-Day standings.
Set a meagre 45 for victory at Kensington Oval following Pride’s sudden collapse in the final session for 232 in their second innings of the third round contest, Jaguars made a meal of what should have been an uncomplicated run chase as they slumped to 21 for four.
When left-handed opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul nicked seamer Kemar Roach behind for six in the third over, there was little bother for Jaguars but the real drama unfolded when three wickets tumbled with the score stuck on 21.
Chris Barnwell (6), handed a promotion, was smartly held at first slip by Ashley Nurse off speedster Miguel Cummins and off the very next ball, Sherfane Rutherford also wasted his promotion when he nicked a catch behind.
When Man-of-the-Match Chandrapaul Hemraj (9) was bowled by one from Roach which kept low, the nerves were creeping into the Jaguars camp but all-rounder Raymon Reifer, with 15 not out, and captain Leon Johnson, 11 not out, dashed any hopes Pride harboured of a come-from-behind win.
In fact ironically, it was Barbadian Reifer who settled the issue, when he cleared the ropes at wide mid-wicket with left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican for his second six.
Test batsmen Roston Chase and Shane Dowrich had earlier raised hopes of a draw when they put on 107 for the fifth wicket, to frustrate Jaguars.
They came together in the first over after lunch when Pride slumped to 97 for four, and carried the hosts through the remainder of the session, before the rot set in early in the final session.
Chase top-scored with 68, an innings that lasted 151 deliveries, just over 3-¼ hours and included nine fours while Dowrich crunched 12 boundaries in 65 off 86 balls in two hours at the crease, to register his second half-century of the match.
Pride were perched on 202 for four at tea but it was Dowrich’s downfall, caught at the wicket cutting at left-arm spinner Veersammy Permaul, which triggered the collapse that saw the last six wickets tumble for 28 runs.
West Indies captain Jason Holder perished for one in similar fashion to Permaul and Chase was eventually ninth out, dragging on an expansive shot at wide ball from Permaul.
Pride had been forced to follow on by 188 runs at the start of the day but soon lost out-of-sorts Test opener Kraigg Brathwaite in the morning’s second over for four, caught at the wicket off left-arm seamer Reifer with five on the board.
Left-handed opener Shayne Moseley, with 32, and captain Shamarh Brooks, 26, put on 64 for the second wicket to steady the innings but two wickets in 21 balls left Pride on 93 for three at lunch.
When Brooks played across one from fast bowler Romario Shepherd and was lbw to the third ball after the interval with just four added to his personal score, the hosts were rattled yet again.