Miller, McCarthy break Jaguars winning streak

ST JOHN’S, Antigua, Feb 9, CMC – Rain, a splendid Andre McCarthy hundred and a ruthless spell from talismanic captain Nikita Miller dealt Guyana Jaguars their first defeat of the Regional Super50, as Jamaica Scorpions clawed their way back into contention in Group B with a 46-run win under the Duckworth-Lewis method here late Thursday night.

Two rain interuptions early in the Jaguars run chase left them with a revised target of 215 off 34 overs, but they never quite found their footing and slipped to 168 all out in the 31st over.

Jaguars had appeared set for their fourth victory on the bounce when they cruised to 65 for one but Miller’s arrival saw the innings fall apart, as the left-arm spinner scythed through the middle order to end with four for 22 from seven overs.

Medium pacers Odean Smith (2-18) and Andre Russell (2-24) both supported with two wickets apiece.

West Indies left-handed Shimron Hetmyer threatened, albeit briefly, with a top score of 40 off 43 balls but no other Jaguars batsman passed 20, as Miller put the brakes on the innings.

Earlier, McCarthy dominated the Jaguars bowling with 105 off 104 deliveries as Scorpions, opting to bat first at Coolidge Cricket Ground, gathered 264 for nine off their 50 overs.

All-rounder Fabian Allen stroked an unbeaten 47, West Indies all-rounder Rovman Powell got 34 while opener Chadwick Walton chipped in with 33.

However, it was McCarthy who made all the headlines with a third regional one-day hundred which included five fours and six sixes.

Scorpions stumbled at the start when Steven Taylor was caught at the wicket off seamer Keemo Paul without scoring off the third ball of the match, with just three runs on the board.

Powell, promoted to number three, then put on 57 for the second wicket with Walton, who produced a brisk knock with four fours and a six off 34 balls, before adding a further 37 for the third wicket with McCarthy.

Powell struck five fours in a 53-ball knock but was one of two wickets to fall for 21 runs as Scorpions slipped to 118 for four in the 26th over.

McCarthy came to his side’s aid, however, dominating the latter half of the innings with a powerful hitting especially straight down the ground.

The right-hander was measured in carving out his first fifty which required 65 balls but increased the tempo to reach three figures off just 32 more deliveries.

Significantly, he added 110 for the fifth wicket with Allen who blossomed after an uncertain start to strike three fours and a six off 62 balls.

The 19-year-old Paul (3-46) eventually claimed McCarthy in the 45th over and combined with fellow pacer Romario Shepherd (3-67) to trigger a slide which saw five wickets tumble for 34 runs.

In reply, Jaguars lost Chandrapaul Hemraj for 17 in the fourth over with the score on 19 before rain drove players from the field in the sixth over with the score on 22.

When they returned, Hetmyer dominated to put Jaguars on top but his fireworks were cut short by rain in the 11th over.

Facing a revised target on resumption, Jaguars panicked and lost wickets steadily. Veteran Shiv Chanderpaul toe-edged a hook at Smith and was caught by wicketkeeper Walton running forward in the 12th over, after a stand of 46 for the second wicket with Hetmyer.

Captain Leon Johnson missed an ugly cross-batted heave at Miller and was bowled for one in the next over and Hetmyer finally departed in the 17th over after punching three fours and two sixes, top-edging a pull at Miller to be caught by Brandon King running in from long on.

On 86 for four, Jaguars slipped further when Miller had Chris Barnwell (15), in his first match, caught by Russell running around to short fine-leg.

And Miller ended the game as a contest when he bowled Anthony Bramble in the 21st over for four, with Jaguars going nowhere at 107 for six.

Jaguars remained top of Group B on 13 points but Scorpions are now third on 10.

Photos are taken from CanaNews and WICB Facebook page.