Jerome Taylor produced a high-class spell of fast bowling to top Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s skillful hundred to propel Jamaica Scorpions to a 41-run victory over Guyana Jaguars in the Regional Super50 Tournament Thursday night.
In a riveting, day/night contest at Kensington Oval, Scorpions posted 249 for eight off their 50 overs and then bowled out Jaguars for 208 off 44 overs.
The second half of the contest belonged to Taylor and Chanderpaul, the former Test teammates, who showed they were still very much at their best.
Taylor, who quit the longest format last year, grabbed two wickets in his opening spell and then returned late in the innings to grab another three, as he finished with five for 40 – his best figures in regional 50-overs competition.
Chanderpaul, discarded 19 months ago by West Indies selectors, showed he had lost little of his touch with a superb 101 which lifted Jaguars from despair at 14 for four in the eighth over and hauled them back into contention.
The veteran left-hander anchored two successive half-century stands with Raymon Reifer (25) and wicketkeeper Anthony Bramble (29) but once Taylor returned, Jaguars lost their last four wickets for 19 runs in the space of 25 deliveries, to collapse to their second straight defeat.
Rookie fast bowler Reynard Leveridge was brilliant up front in tandem with Taylor, and finished with three for 38.
Opener Chadwick Walton had earlier top-scored with 82 from 84 balls as Scorpions, choosing to bat, managed to raise a challenging total.
Antiguan Devon Thomas stroked an unbeaten 56, Test batsman Jermaine Blackwood scored 42 and Brandon King added 21.
Off-spinner Steven Jacobs (2-27), left-arm seamer Raymon Reifer (2-41) and left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul (2-48) all picked up two wickets each.
The right-handed Walton was off to a flyer, slamming six fours and four sixes as he and Blackwood galvanized the innings in a 92-run, second wicket stand, after left-hander John Campbell had fallen cheaply for two at 18 in the fourth over.
Blackwood faced 59 balls and struck two fours and two sixes before going bowled by Jacobs in the 23rd over.
Walton followed soon afterwards, caught at long-off off Jacobs in the 29th over but Thomas and King put on 41 for the fourth wicket to revive the innings.
Thomas faced 74 balls and counted three fours in a controlled knock which ensured Scorpions gathered runs steadily at the end.
Jaguars were then rocked at the start of their innings when Taylor and Leveridge combined to blow away their top order.
Shimron Hetmyer was beaten for pace by Leveridge and bowled without scoring in the second over with three on the board and in the next over, Taylor brought one back to bowl captain Leon Johnson, also without scoring, with one run added to the score.
Taylor struck again in the seventh over when he again got one to nip back and bowl Assad Fudadin for three at 13 for three.
A floodlight failure which took the players from the field failed to dent Scorpions’ momentum as on resumption, Leveridge picked up where he left off when he had Chris Barnwell caught at the wicket for one botching an attempted pull, at 14 for four in the eighth over.
Chanderpaul then put on show every inch of his experience as he struck 12 fours and a six in a knock lasting just 96 deliveries. He posted 77 for the fifth wicket with Reifer, 54 for the sixth wicket with Bramble and 44 for the seventh wicket with Jacobs (19).
The 42-year-old raised his half-century off 47 balls in the 22nd over before reaching triple figures off 94 balls in the 42nd over.
When Jacobs played back to Taylor in the 40th over and went hit wicket at 189 for seven, Scorpions needed 60 from 61 deliveries.
But Permaul pulled Taylor to mid-wicket to depart for four in the 42nd over at 197 for eight and all hope disappeared for Jaguars in the next over with two runs added when Chanderpaul gloved a pull at a wayward delivery from Leveridge and was caught at the wicket.