ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Tyrone Theophile stroked a high class hundred while all-rounder Kavem Hodge produced an electrifying all-round effort to stun Guyana Jaguars and thrust Windward Islands Volcanoes into tomorrow’s final of the Regional Super50.
Playing in the second semi-final under lights at Coolidge Cricket Ground last night, the aggressive Volcanoes marched to a 52-run victory under Duckworth/Lewis, and will now face defending champions Barbados Pride in the championship finale.
They held all the aces once they piled up 286 for seven off their 50 overs, with the right-handed Theophile lashing 107 off 104 balls – his maiden List A hundred – to turn the page on a wretched run of form.
Hodge carved out an attractive 57 while Test batsman Kirk Edwards scored 27, and veteran opener Devon Smith, 25.
Left with the burden of completing the highest successful run chase of the tournament, Jaguars’ target was then revised to 284 off 47 overs following the final of several rain breaks during the innings.
But they never found momentum and lost wickets steadily, collapsing to 231 all out off 44.2 overs.
Sherfane Rutherford, batting at number seven, top-scored with 49 while Veerasammy Permaul arrived at number nine to chip in with 37.
Veteran Shiv Chanderpaul made a breezy 34 and wicketkeeper Anthony Bramble, 27, but left-arm spinner Hodge’s three for 39 left Jaguars with too much to do in the latter stages.
Languishing at 108 for seven in the 22nd over after losing two wickets in successive deliveries to Larry Edward’s left-arm spin, Jaguars were handed a lifeline, albeit narrow, when Rutherford and Permaul posted 71 in a valiant eight-wicket stand.
However, once Permaul swatted a swirling catch off a short ball from left-arm seamer Obed McCoy and was well taken at deep mid-wicket by Hodge in the 36th over, all hope evaporated.
Surprisingly asked to bat, Volcanoes found themselves 50 for two in the ninth over with both openers Johnson Charles (8) and Smith dismissed, before Theophile came to their rescue.
With scores of 10, 6, 5, 1 and 1 in his previous five innings, Theophile showed little sign of that anaemic form as he dominated the Jaguars attack from the outset.
Dropped on 10 by Romario Shepherd at mid-off off leg-spinner Ramaal Lewis (3-54), Theophile made the most of the reprieve, striking nine fours and four sixes in an authoritative knock.
He brought up his first fifty off 55 deliveries and required a further 45 ball to reach three figures. The 28-year-old cruised into the 90s by depositing Lewis over long on for six in the 35th over before reaching his landmark in the 41st with a cover-driven boundary off left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul.
Along the way, Theophile added 73 for the third wicket with Edwards and a commanding 107 for the fourth wicket with Hodge, who hit four boundaries in a busy 65-ball knock.
Theophile was eventually yorked by left-arm spinner Chandrapaul Hemraj in the 42nd over leading to a slide where Volcanoes lost four wickets for 19 runs, to plunge to 249 for seven in the 46th over.
Kyle Mayers (18 not out) and captain Shane Shillingford (16 not out) then put on 37 in an unbroken eighth wicket partnership to ensure the tail wagged somewhat.
Jaguars’ run chase suffered an early blow when Hemraj (4) nicked the fifth ball of the innings from fast bowler Ryan John to be caught at the wicket with seven runs on the board.
His opening partner Tagenarine Chanderpaul followed in the fifth over in the most tragic of dismissals. His father’s firm drive ricocheted off John’s boot on the follow through and onto the stumps at the non-striker’s end, with the 21-year-old short of his ground.
Jaguars, however, looked to be rebuilding when Shiv Chanderpaul and captain Leon Johnson (4) put on 30 for the third wicket.
Chanderpaul resorted to unusual aggression, smashing four fours and two sixes off 40 balls, to put Volcanoes temporarily on the back foot.
Hodge, operating with the new ball, then crippled the innings with key strikes. He induced a false stroke from Johnson and had the left-hander caught and bowled in the 10th over and two overs later, removed the dangerous Chanderpaul to a catch at square leg, sweeping.
Bramble counter-attacked in a 23-ball cameo, punching a four and three sixes, in adding 37 with Chris Barnwell (25) for the fifth wicket.
But Hodge intervened yet again, getting Bramble to hole out to McCoy at long off, leaving Jaguars in tatters on 102 for five in the 20th over.
The near-fatal blows, however, were struck by Edward (2-37) in the 22nd over. Off the very first ball of his spell, he claimed Barnwell to a catch at cover by Edwards, and then spun the next delivery past new batsman Romario Shepherd’s outside edge to rattle his off-stump.