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(CMC) – Guyana Jaguars defied half-centuries from Alick Athanaze and Devon Smith and looked set to complete their fourth straight victory, after they fortified their hold on their match against Windward Islands Volcanoes in the West Indies Championship on Saturday here.
Athanaze hit the top score of 66, but the Volcanoes were bowled out for 209 in their first innings just after lunch on third day of their fourth-round match at the Guyana National Stadium.
Following on, the Volcanoes batted far more steadily, and Smith, last season’s leading run scorer, led the way with 65 to anchor the visitors to 167 for three in their second innings when stumps were drawn, leaving them still trailing by 78.
Smith helped Volcanoes have a steady start the second time around with Tarryck Gabriel, who was caught behind off Sherfane Rutherford for 16, becoming one of three victims pouched by wicketkeeper Anthony Bramble before the close.
Smith struck eight fours from 128 balls in close to 2 ¾ hours at the crease, sharing 75 for the second wicket with Roland Cato before they were both dismissed – caught behind off Romario Shepherd and first innings wrecker Keemo Paul respectively – in the final session of the day.
Kavem Hodge, not out on three, and Barbados-born, Volcanoes captain Kirk Edwards, the discarded West Indies batsman, not out on 40, battled through practically an hour before the close to give the visitors hope of survival.
Earlier, Paul ended with six for 57 – the third time he has claimed five or more scalps in first-class matches – to be the most successful Jaguars bowler and keep his name in the frame for higher calling against Joe Root’s England.
Athanaze collected 11 fours and one six from 114 balls in nearly three hours at the crease and resisted the Jaguars attack to add 90 for the sixth wicket with Denis Smith.
Once Smith fell to Shepherd for 37, there was token resistance from the rest of the Volcanoes batting and the rest crumbled for 31 in 52 balls.