Guyana Jaguars skipper Leon Johnson made a welcome return to form with a half-century CMC – Guyana Jaguars skipper Leon Johnson made a welcome return to form with a half-century which pulled the five-time reigning champions out of trouble on Friday’s second day of their fifth round contest against Windward Islands Volcanoes.
With his side struggling on 25 for two in reply to the hosts’ first innings of 318 at the National Stadium here, Johnson struck a composed unbeaten 65 to steer the innings to the relative safety of 145 for three at the close.
The 32-year-old, who made a half-century in his first innings of the season only to gather a mere 77 runs from his last six outings, has struck 11 fours in a knock spanning 122 balls and a shade over 2-½ hours.
Crucially, he put on 74 for the third wicket with Test let-hander Shimron Hetmyer who made 32 in his second regional first class appearance in two seasons before gifting his wicket, before adding a further 46 in an unbroken fourth wicket stand with all-rounder Chris Barnwell (28 not out).
Keron Cottoy (56) and Shane Shillingford (53) had earlier struck half-centuries as Volcanoes flourished after resuming the day on 212 for six.
Unbeaten overnight on 37, Cottoy stretched his seventh wicket stand with Shillingford to 36, hitting 10 fours off 85 balls in just over 1-¾ hours in posting his maiden first class half-century.
Once Cottoy perished, Shillingford took responsibility for the innings by anchoring a 57-run, eighth wicket partnership with Sherman Lewis who made 24.
All told, Shillingford faced 86 balls in two hours and counted four fours and a six. Left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul led Jaguars’ attack with four for 59 while leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo supported with three for 73.
Left-arm seamer Preston McSween (2-43) gave the hosts an excellent start when he removed Chandrapaul Hemraj without scoring with a single run on the board in the fifth over.
And when new-ball partner Ray Jordan dislodged Tagenarine Chanderpaul for 11 to a catch at the wicket, Jaguars were collapsing yet again.
But Johnson steadied the innings, combining with Hetmyer who lashed four fours in a 39-ball knock before top-edging a pull at McSween and was caught at short mid-wicket.
LINK ORIGINAL: Guyana Chronicle