PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – Kavem Hodge struck his maiden List A hundred but it proved in vain, as opener Chandrapaul Hemraj carved out his second, to lift Guyana Jaguars to a crucial 22-run victory over Windward Islands Volcanoes in the Regional Super50 Cup here late Tuesday.Chasing 295 in a day/night Group B fixture at Queen’s Park Oval, Hodge fashioned a high quality 123 off 145 deliveries as Volcanoes ended on 272 for eight off their 50 overs, to extend their wretched run with their fifth defeat in six outings.Hemraj, meanwhile, stroked exactly 100 off 116 balls, an innings that laid the foundation for Jaguars’ impressive 294 for nine off their 50 overs after being sent in.Opening partner Tagenarine Chanderpaul struck a patient 64 while Raymon Reifer produced a cameo 52 off 33 deliveries to propel Jaguars to their highest total of the tournament.Jaguars, who have been unconvincing throughout the campaign, moved to 16 points with their fourth win in six matches, creating a virtual deadlock in the group.Leaders West Indies Emerging Players and second-placed hosts Trinidad and Tobago Red Force are also both on 16 points.It was Hemraj who provided the early momentum, smashing six fours and five sixes as he put on an entertaining 171 for the first wicket with Chanderpaul who counted four fours in a 100-ball knock.The start, however, was undone in the 36th over when left-arm spinner Larry Edward removed both Hemraj and Chanderpaul in the space of three deliveries with no addition to the score.When captain Leon Johnson was lbw to leg-spinner Keron Cottoy without scoring in the next over, Jaguars were suddenly stuttering on 171 for three and forced to rebuild.The left-handed Reifer emerged at the forefront of that effort, lashing half-dozen fours and five sixes in a 73-run fourth-wicket stand off 50 deliveries with Chris Barnwell, whose 38 came from 26 balls and included two fours and sixes.Facing a demanding required run rate in their run chase, Volcanoes lost out-of-form veteran left-hander Devon Smith (11) cheaply in the third over but they regained their balance through Hodge who masterminded two successive critical stands.First, he put on 65 for the second wicket with Desron Maloney whose 37 came from 47 balls and included four fours and two sixes.Then, Hodge found another ally in Alick Athanaze to add a further 146 for the third wicket, a partnership which put Volcanoes firmly on course to overhaul their target.All told, Hodge belted eight fours and two sixes while Athanaze gathered a sparkling 63 off 66 balls with two fours and three sixes.Not for the first time, the complexion of the game changed when six wickets tumbled for 42 runs in quick time, leaving Volcanoes well adrift.
Medeama coach, Tom Strand has blamed his own pitch for their inability to play according to plan in their game against Hearts of Oak on Sunday.Speaking in the post match interview, Strand believed the result could have been different had the field been of some quality.“Unfortunately we [couldn’t] play the football that we wanted to play because the pitch is not really good for us to play the game we want”It is very interesting that with this submission, the Swede deviates from the norm whereby in other cases when the field had influenced play, it was the visiting team that would complain bitterly about how the bad pitch hampered their progress.This is not the first time the quality of the field has influenced the game one way or another. A few weeks ago, WAFA complained about the field when they visited the Carl Reindorf Park, Liberty Professionals’ home grounds.Meanwhile, Strand also believes that Medeama’s inability to take advantage of the numerous chances they had ultimately did a great disservice to his side. “At the end of the day, we created more chances than Hearts of Oak but we had to put those chances it the net.”The result leaves Medeama 10th on the league with two matches remaining–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySports