Johnson, Reifer secure Jaguars spot in final

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – Captain Leon Johnson struck his maiden List A hundred as Guyana Jaguars reached their 17th regional one-day final, with a dramatic one-wicket victory over Jamaica Scorpions here late Thursday night.
With scores tied on 272 in the opening day/night Regional Super50 semi-final at Kensington Oval, tail-ender Veerasammy Permaul nervelessly punched the penultimate delivery of the match from seamer Gordon Bryan to the extra cover boundary, to set off celebrations in the Jaguars camp.
The result was still up for grabs when Jaguars started the last over requiring nine runs for victory, and Scorpions grabbed the initiative when Clinton Pestano (1) holed out to long on off the first delivery.
But the unflappable Permaul turned the game on its head when he cleared the ropes at long on with the very next ball, leaving Jaguars with their noses in front, with just three runs to get from four balls.
Singles off the next two balls ensured the scores were tied and Permaul then broke Jamaica’s hearts, to give Jaguars a shot at their 10th regional one-day title.
They owed the successful chase to Johnson who put aside a poor run of form to stroke a fine 101, which came from 136 balls and included 11 fours.
He found an ally in West Indies all-rounder Raymon Reifer who carved out a critical 68 off 81 balls, and together they added 130 for the fourth wicket to pull Jaguars around from 70 for three in the 12th over.
Sherfane Rutherford provided a 17-ball 22 at the top of the order while Permaul also finished unbeaten on 22 from 15 deliveries.
Nkrumah Bonner and John Campbell had earlier struck up-tempo half-centuries as Scorpions recovered from a mid-innings stumble to post a challenging 272 for eight off their 50 overs.

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