Only the Windward Islands, who made 371-8 against T&T in 1983 have scored more runs to win a Regional match and yesterday the Jaguars win was set up by a magnificent 146-run fourth wicket stand between the experienced Shiv Chanderpaul (64) and fellow Test left-hander Narsingh Deonarine (90) as Guyana, set 334 to win reached 334-6 to move to 107 points and maintain their lead in the tournament.
Deonarine, who batted for 147 minutes and 130 balls with seven fours and four sixes and Chanderpaul, whose innings lasted 126 minutes, 92 balls and was laced with five fours and a six, joined forces at 103-3 when Rajendra Chandrika fell for 60 from 105 balls, 156 minutes and reached the boundary seven times.
After Chanderpaul and Deonarine departed in the space of two runs, Raymond Reifer, who finished the match with a six in his unbeaten 41 from 89 balls, 105 minutes with three fours and a six and Anthony Bramble, who made 27 not out from 47 balls, featured in an unfinished 59-run seventh wicket stand to see their team to victory in fading light.
Spinners Ashley Nurse (2-81) and Jomel Warrican (2-81) were the best bowlers for the defending champions.
Guyana are 25 points ahead of ahead of Barbados, who are second on 82 points. The Windwards (80 points) are third following their victory over the Leewards in St Lucia.
Scores: Barbados (312 & 241-6 dec), Guyana (221 & 335-6) Play began in bright sunshine with the Jaguars, set 333 to win, on 41 without loss needing another 292 more for their 34th victory against Barbados in 85 games.
Chandrika (25) and Vishaul Singh (14) started shakily with Chandrika being dropped at gully off Carlos Braithwaite before Guyana had added to their overnight score. Singh soon touched one from Miguel Cummins to the Keeper to leave the Jaguars on 41-1 in glorious sunshine to bring Skipper Leon Johnson to the crease.
Chandrika brought up to 50 in 15.5 overs in 57 minutes with a well played hook off Braithwaite for four and cut the West Indies pacer for four to third man along with his captain, repaired the early damage with responsible and sensible batting.
Slowly but surely the pair brought Guyana back in the contest as they launched ‘operation rebuild’ as a fair size crowd made up of mostly Barbados based Guyanese turned up at Kensington Oval on a working day here while Guyanese at home were dancing in the streets in Mashramani day festivities.
Chandrika followed up his 83 against the Leeward Islands in the last game in Antigua, with his fifth First-Class fifty which took 104 minutes, 73 balls and was decorated with six fours while Johnson who played the supporting role and batted for 70 minutes in the 43-run partnership with Chandrika before he seemed very unfortunate to adjudged LBW for 14 from 40 balls with two boundaries.
Chandrika was joined by Deonarine and smashed Braithwaite delightfully through cover to bring up the 100 in 35.2 overs but in the next over pushed forward to Warrican and was taken at silly mid-off to end his promising knock and leave the Jaguars on 103-3.
Deonarine, who punished Nurse to the cover boundary, and Chanderpaul, who got going with a commanding pull off Royston Chase which was followed up with a flowing cover driven boundary in the next over off Warrican, took their team to Lunch with the score on 133-3 with Deonarine on 25 and Chanderpaul on16 and victory still 200 runs away.
Guyana scored 92 runs in the first session and lost three to leave the exchanges ‘even stevens’ by Lunch.
After the Interval, Deonarine, the only batsman with two centuries this season and Chanderpaul, with the most centuries by a Guyanese at Regional level (16) buckled down to bat their team out of danger.
Deonarine pulled Nurse for four and Chanderpaul hit him for a huge six to bring up the 50 partnership off 94 balls and 52 minutes and 150 from 54 overs as the partnership flourished on a track still good for batting on a fast outfield as conditions became increasing overcast.
With the score on 162-3 rain stopped play 45 minutes after Lunch to stall the run chase with Chanderpaul, the only batsman with a triple ton in contemporary Regional Cricket (303 against Jamaica at Sabina Park in 1996) using his vast experience to full effect. When play resumed 10 minutes later Chanderpaul and Deonarine picked the gaps and rotated the strike cleverly to reduce the victory target to less than 150.
Chanderpaul, who along with Ramnaresh Sarwan shared in the 203-run record fourth wicket stand against Barbados in 2003 at this ground, backed away and smashed Braithwaite behind point for an audacious boundary and the most capped West Indian Test player (161 matches) was looking dangerous.
Deonarine, the first batsman to score 1,000 runs in a Regional season, clobbered Warrican for four before dumping him for a colossal straight six to post his 44th First-Class fifty from 160 minutes, 100 balls with five fours and a six.
Chanderpaul, who need another 178 runs to overtake Brian Lara, the leading West Indian run scorer in Tests, reached his 130th First-Class fifty from 93 minutes, 70 balls with three fours and a six.
Chanderpaul swept Warrican for four to post the 100 partnership while he majestically stroked Warrican to the boundary with a classy cover drive as both batsmen oozed confidence.
Deonarine danced into Warrican and deposited him on the top of the Media Centre before pulling the next ball into the empty Greenidge & Haynes stand at mid-wicket and at Tea the Jaguars were well placed at 222-3 with Deonarine on 71 and Chanderpaul on 57. Guyana dominated the second session and were 112 short of their target.
However, a sharp shower during the break threatened to deny the Jaguars, who look easily the best team in the tournament, their sixth win of the competition but Guyana, with six titles to their name where not to be denied and the action resumed in sunny conditions.
After Tea Chanderpaul cut Nurse for four before Deonarine moved into the 90s with a six off Chase but the Bajans fought back when both batsmen were sent packing in the space of six minutes.
Deonarine missed one that turned across him from Nurse and was stumped while two runs later Chanderpaul was LBW to Chase as the Jaguars slipped to 249-5.
Reifer and Chris Barnwell joined forces with Guyana 85 away from their target and Barnwell (6) was dropped at long-on off Nurse by Carlos Braithwaite with the score on 260-5 before he was removed by the same bowler for 12 at 276-6.
Reifer (13) was put down at slip on 283-6 off Chase before Bramble swept Nurse for four and with the victory target less than 50 the game was on a knife’s edge as the 300 was achieved in 86.2 overs.
Reifer and Bramble, with level headed batting, ensured the Jaguars avenged their loss to the same team at Providence when Reifer pulled Cummins into the stands with five required for victory.
The team is set to return to Guyana today and will play their next two games at home before travelling to Dominica for their final game.