WICB Media Release Antigua and Barbuda
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
ST JOHN’S, Antigua (WICB) — Coach of the Leeward Islands Hurricanes Reginald Benjamin has commended his players for their improved level of play against the Guyana Jaguars during their drawn WICB Regional Four-Day Championship match at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua.
“People weren’t playing tentatively, they went out and played well and they also did a lot of strike rotation which was our strength building partnerships, so those are the positives that came about. I know, from what I saw in the first round, that this was a team we could have beaten and I was positive of that,” he said.
The match, which was interrupted by rain, ended in a draw as Guyana preserved their advantage at the top of the standings going into the final round of matches.
Beginning the final day on Monday with survival on their minds on 108 for two, still requiring 232 runs to avoid an innings defeat, Jaguars battled through a rain-hit final day to finish on 222 for eight.
Captain Leon Johnson was at the heart of the fight, converting his overnight 51 into 79, while Vishaul Singh made 32 after starting the day on 16.
Benjamin is confident that had it not been for the rain, his team would have prevailed.
“We would have most likely won the game an gotten an extra nine points and be comfortable looking to see if there was a way to get from fifth to fourth because I think that was the position I envisioned way back in June (2015),” said the coach.
“It is what it is and we just have to go out, play well and beat Barbados and look for as many points and possible and hope the Leeward Islands people will see that we are playing a high level of cricket,” he added.
Jaguars had slumped to the verge of defeat on 186 for eight in the final session on Monday, but veteran left-hander Shiv Chanderpaul and tail-ender Devendra Bishoo frustrated Hurricanes in an unbroken 36-run ninth wicket stand.
Under-19 World Cup star fast bowler Alzarri Joseph was the leading bowler with four for 71, while off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall picked up three for 34.
For their efforts, Hurricanes earned nine points to move to 48 points and above Windward Islands Volcanoes into fifth spot in the standings for the first time this season.
Jaguars, meanwhile, remained at the top of the standings with 130 points, but had their advantage narrowed to only seven points by second-placed Barbados Pride.