GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Rookie fast bowler Nial Smith snatched his second five-wicket haul in three outings to trigger a sensational T&T Red Force collapse, as champions Guyana Jaguars took a firm hold of their third-round encounter on Friday.
Replying to Jaguars’ 323 all out, Red Force slumped to 98 all out to concede a first innings lead of 225 runs at the Guyana National Stadium.
The 24-year-old Smith was at the heart of the destruction, picking up five for 12 from eight remarkable overs while veteran left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul claimed four for 29.
Opener Jeremy Solozano top-scored with 27 and Kjorn Ottley got 22 batting at number seven but no other frontline batsman made it into double figures.
In their second turn at the crease, Jaguars were 53 without loss – an overall lead of 278 heading into Saturday’s penultimate day – with left-handed openers Tagenarine Chanderpaul (29 not out) and Chandrapaul Hemraj (22 not out) seeing off the new ball threat.
Resuming yesterday’s second day on 263 for six, Jaguars added a further 61 runs for the loss of their last four wickets.
Wicketkeeper Anthony Bramble, unbeaten on 63 overnight, missed out on triple figures when he was seventh out for 91. He faced just 77 deliveries in two hours at the crease, striking 14 fours and three sixes.
He extended his seventh wicket stand with Devendra Bishoo (27) to 45 before becoming the morning’s first casualty.
Off-spinner Bryan Charles added another wicket to his tally to finish with five for 87 while part-time bowler Darren Bravo supported with two for 18.
Red Force’s collapse then came as a shock, especially on the heels of outstanding batting displays in the two previous rounds.
Fast bowler Keon Joseph started the rot when he bowled Keagan Simmons for two in the fifth over with 12 runs on the board and Smith struck key blows in the next over when he bowled the in-form captain Bravo for one and then trapped experienced right-hander Jason Mohammed lbw without scoring.
Smith then knocked over Joshua DaSilva (1) and Yannic Cariah (0) in his next over to leave Red Force on 20 for five before Solozano and Ottley combined in a 31-run, sixth wicket partnership to temporarily halt the slide.
Once Smith trapped Solozano lbw after the left-hander had struck three fours off 80 balls in an hour-and-a-half at the crease, Permaul scythed through the lower order as the last five wickets for 47 runs.
JAGUARS 323 (Anthony Bramble 91, Tagenarine Chanderpaul 68, Chris Barnwell 58, Chandrapaul Hemraj 36, Devendra Bishoo 27; Bryan Charles 5-87) & 53 without loss (Tagenarine Chanderpaul 29 not out, Chandrapaul Hemraj 22 not out)
RED FORCE 98 (Jeremy Solozano 27, Kjorn Ottley 22; Nial Smith 5-12, Veerasammy Permaul 4-29)