Debutant fast bowler Chemar Holder celebrates his maiden first class scalp with ‘keeper Shane Dowrich, that of opener Chandrapaul Hemraj who topscored with 90. (Picture by Kenmore Bynoe.)
It is still crystal clear dropped catches can be costly but clever captaincy and correct bowling choices are also critical components of cricket.
Whereas teenage pacer Chemar Holder captured two wickets in an impressive debut, Barbados Pride missed a couple of chances which allowed champions Guyana Jaguars to share the honours on yesterday’s opening day of their ninth round first-class cricket match in the Regional 4-Day Championship at Kensington Oval.
Stocky opener Chandrapaul Hemraj capitalised on Barbados Pride’s generosity with a purposeful career-best knock of 90 which was decorated with ten fours and three sixes off 145 balls in 214 minutes.
The 24-year-old dominated a solid second-wicket stand of 145 runs with his captain and fellow left-hander Leon Johnson, who batted patiently for 56, as the Jagaurs reached 184 for five off 64 overs when rain stopped play about an hour before the rescheduled close. Johnson struck nine fours off 207 balls in his knock, which spanned 271 minutes.
Both Hemraj, who missed a maiden first-class century by ten runs and Johnson, fell to the 19-year-old Holder, who has benefited from a developmental stint in Australia at the Darren Lehmann Academy in the latter months of last year.
Sent in on a pitch with a fair measure of grass after damp patches near the pitch delayed the start by 40 minutes, Pride’s captain Shamarh Brooks surprisingly employed spinners Roston Chase and Jomel Warrican for 20 of the 64 overs which were bowled.
The Jaguars flourished during that period, moving from 58 for one at lunch to 155 for two at tea with both Chase and Warrican wicketless while conceding 32 and 39 runs respectively.
Barbados Pride had made an excellent start when pacer Kemar Roach struck with the second ball of the match, uprooting the stumps of Tagenarine Chanderpaul with an inswinging yorker for a “duck”.
Roach should also have removed Hemraj when he was only seven but Chase spilled a difficult catch in the gully, diving full-stretched to his left.
In the second over after lunch, Jonathan Carter dropped a regulation catch offered by Johnson on 25 at second slip off Roach, but instead of pace from both ends with four seamers at his disposal, on a helpful pitch, Brooks persisted with Chase, who had delivered three maiden overs before the interval.
Hemraj duly square drove and delicately cut Chase for boundaries off consecutive balls.
On 41, Hemraj had another slice of luck when another cut off Chase eluded Carter in the slips.
When Brooks introduced left-arm spinner Warrican at the northern Joel Garner End for a double dose of spin with the score on 92 for one after 36 overs, Hemraj went into a comfort zone.
After reaching his 50 in 164 minutes off 115 balls with a single off Chase to short mid-wicket, he increased the tempo as he celebrated by square-driving Warrican for four.
In the next over, he pulled a short ball from Chase over midwicket for six before turning his attention to Warrican.
Hemraj stepped down the pitch to powerfully drive Warrican over the mid-off fielder for four before hoisting the next ball over midwicket for a six.
He completed the expensive over which yielded 16 runs, launching with another six over long-on.
But after surviving a testing four-over spell from fast bowler Miguel Cummins, who tried to unsettle him with some short-pitched bowling, he succumbed to Holder
Holder, with the first ball of a new spell just before tea, induced Hemraj to glove a lifting ball for wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich to take a leg-side catch.
Diminutive left-hander Vishaul Singh also fell to a short ball after tea from Greaves miscuing his pull to Cummins at mid-on.
Johnson, lucky not to be run out on 39 when he was stranded in mid-pitch and Greaves’ throw from the covers missed the stumps at the striker’s end, was out in almost identical fashion.
Shaping to pull to Holder, he was beaten by the pace and bounce and skied a simple catch to Brooks at short midwicket.
Rain prematurely ended play with the experienced Shivnarine Chanderpaul and all-rounder Raymon Reifer at the crease. (EZS)