NAIN, Jamaica (CMC) – Gifted batsman Marlon Samuels re-launched his career with a monumental, unbeaten double century that put Jamaica in command of their first round match of the Regional First Class Championship against Guyana here Sunday.
The 30-year-old right-hander reeled off a superb 250 to dominate the day’s headlines at Alpart Sports Club as the hosts piled up an impressive 391 for four declared in their second innings, after trailing by 33 on first innings.
Chasing a challenging 359 for victory, Guyana reached the safety of close at 58 without loss, still needing to score another 301 runs on the final day Monday to win the game.
The day belonged to Samuels, however, as he raised his second regional first class century and his seventh first class hundred overall.
Playing his first four-day match following a two-year ban for inappropriate links to an Indian bookmaker, Samuels gave West Indies selectors a timely reminder of his talent with an authoritative display.
He hit 22 fours and seven sixes, in an innings that required 320 balls and lasted seven hours and 11 minutes.
Resuming the day on 51 with Jamaica on 128 for two, Samuels stretched his third-wicket stand with Brendan Nash to 95 before the Test left-hander retired with cramp on 25, with the score on 204 for two.
When captain Tamar Lambert was taken at gully for five by Royston Crandon off pacer Esaun Crandon (2-72) moments later at 220 for three, Guyana appeared to be hauling themselves back into the game.
But Samuels found an ally in Wavell Hinds (21) and posted 105 for the fourth wicket that crushed Guyana’s resistance. Showing scant respect for the Guyana attack on a flat track, Samuels played several vintage shots en route to his century reached off 186 balls.
Samuels exploded after tea as Jamaica chased quick runs, smashing left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul for two sixes and a four in one over.
David Bernard Jr (15 not out) joined Samuels in an unbroken 66-run fifth-wicket stand but was reduced to the role of onlooker, as his partner reached only his second first class double century and his first in regional cricket.
The declaration came 39 minutes after tea but Rajendra Chandrika scored a fluent, unbeaten 37 to deny the rampant Jamaicans any success.