NORTH SOUND, Antigua, CMC – Rain, dropped catches and dogged batting combined to help leaders Guyana Jaguars secure a precious draw against Leeward Islands and preserve their advantage heading into the final round of the Regional four-day championship next weekend.
Beginning the day 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 at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground 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.
When Jaguars slumped to the verge of defeat on 186 for eight in the final session, veteran left-hander Shiv Chanderpaul and tail-ender Devendra Bishoo frustrated Hurricanes in an unbroken 36-run, ninth wicket stand.
Chanderpaul spent an hour-and-a-half and 56 balls over an unbeaten 25 which included five fours while Bishoo, also a left-hander, batted just over two hours and 85 deliveries for his 16 not out.
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 on second placed Barbados Pride.
The adverse weather helped out Jaguars at the start, delaying the start of play before returning after just 20 deliveries, to halt proceedings again.
On resumption, Johnson benefitted from two let-offs – on 59 and then on 66 – both to Jeremiah Louis at square leg off seamer Gavin Tonge with the score on 124 for two and then on 131.
Johnson and Vishaul capitalised to stretch their third wicket stand to 98, a partnership interrupted by a third rain break before lunch was taken at 145 for two.
All told, Johnson struck 12 fours off 179 balls in just over four hours at the crease.
HURRICANES 430 (Montcin Hodge 149 not out, Gavin Tonge 59, Kieran Powell 55, Daron Cruickshank 43, Keacy Carty 33, Orlando Peters 29; Chris Barnwell 2-68, Veerasammy Permaul 2-77)
JAGUARS 190 (Shiv Chanderpaul 48, Rayon Reifer 45, Vishaul Singh 25; Gavin Tonge 4-37, Rahkeem Cornwall 3-59, Alzarri Joseph 2-34) and 222 for eight (Leon Johnson 79, Vishaul Singh 32, Shiv Chanderpaul 25 not out; Alzarri Joseph 4-71, Rahkeem Cornwall 3-34)
HURRICANES 1st Innings 430
JAGUARS 1st Innings 190
JAGUARS 2nd Innings (following on) (overnight 108 for two)
R Chandrika c Peters b Cornwall 20
T Chanderpaul b Joseph 8
*L Johnson b Joseph 79
V Singh c Hodge b Cornwall 32
C Barnwell c and b Joseph 0
R Reifer c wkp Hamilton b Joseph 6
+A Bramble c Powell b Cornwall 11
V Permaul c wkp Hamilton b Joseph 1
D Bishoo not out 16
S Chanderpaul not out 25
Extras (b8, lb11, w3, nb2) 25
TOTAL (8 wkts, 109.5 overs) 222
Fall of wickets: 1-19, 2-54, 3-152, 4-152, 5-165, 6-170, 7-177, 8-186.
Bowling: Joseph 23.5-5-71-4 (w2, nb1), Louis 8-2-14-1 (w1), Tonge 15-5-40-0, Cornwall 40-25-34-3, Taylor 4-1-21-0, Cruickshank 8-6-3-0, O Peters 11-6-20-0 (nb1).
Result: Match drawn.
Points: Hurricanes 9, Jaguars 5.
Man-of-the-Match: Montcin Hodge.
Umpires: Carl Tuckett, Patrick Gustard.