Uphill task for Ja's batsmen
Jamaica Franchise's batting will face a big test today after leaders Guyana Jaguars scored 298 for eight on yesterday's opening day of their four-day WICB Professional League encounter at Sabina Park.
Asked to take first strike, the Jaguars produced a good allround team effort with left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul, the tournament's leading wicket taker, topscoring with an unbeaten 75. The other leading batsmen were wicketkeeper Anthony Bramble, 47, captain Leon Johnson, 41, veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 29, and all-rounder, Raymon Reifer, who also scored 29.
Leg-spinner, Odean Brown, returning for the first time since a knee operation early last year, has so far taken three for 66 with another returning player, fast bowler Jason Dawes, bagging two for 15.
"I think it was a tough day, knowing that we won the toss and put them in," commented Jamaica captain, Tamar Lambert.
"I thought that we could have bowled a little bit better with the new ball, as we were bowling a bit too short, and they scored a lot of runs, especially square of the wicket.
"We will have to come tomorrow and get the two remaining wickets as quickly as possible, and try and get a start of a good Sabina Park wicket."
The Guyanese, who at the start of play left out West Indies batsman Narsingh Deonarine and young opener Rajindra Chandrika due to illness, started shakily as they lost their first two wickets with just 35 runs on the board.
However, thanks to Johnson and Reifer, who put on 63 for the third wicket they were able to recover sufficiently.
Johnson, fresh from the West Indies' tour of South Africa, looked comfortable to Jamaica's pace trio of Dawes, Bernard Jr and Marquino Mindley, and was particularly impressive with his shots square of the wicket.
The partnership was, however, broken with the score on 98 when Reifer was caught at first slip by John Campbell off Jacobs.
In mid-afternoon, with Guyana on 174 for six, Jamaica appeared likely to dismiss the Guayanese for just over 200. However, a seventh wicket partnership of 39 between Permaul and Bramble, then a 84 runs stand for the eighth wicket between Permaul and Bishoo, lifted the Jaguars.
"A score of 298 for eight means that we are in a good position," said Permaul.
"Our batsmen really went out there and worked hard, as in the beginning it was not an easy wicket to bat on, and we had to stick to the task."
AT BEAUSEJOUR CRICKET GROUND: Windward Islands Volcanoes, opting to bat first against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, reached 388 for eight at the close.
Scores: Windward Islands Volcanoes 388 for eight (Tyrone Theophile 136, Keddy Lesporis 83, Liam Sebastien 56; Imran Khan 3-90).