ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Three-time reigning champions Guyana Jaguars made a steady start, a promising, young batsman fell short of a maiden first-class hundred and rain dealt a blow to the pink-ball match when the 2017-18 Digicel Regional 4-Day Championship opened on Thursday.

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Half-centuries from Anthony Bramble and Chanderpaul Hemraj led the Jaguars to 258 for eight in the first innings at the close against Jamaica Scorpions at the Guyana National Stadium.

Hometown boy Roland Cato led the way with 90, as he anchored Windward Islands Volcanoes to 220 for seven in their first innings against Leeward Islands Hurricanes at the National Cricket Stadium.

And wet conditions caused by rain curtailed play at Kensington Oval, where fierce regional rivals Barbados Pride and Trinidad & Tobago Force were playing under the lights.

In Providence, Guyana: Hemraj made 60 to hold the top half of the Jaguars’ batting together before they crashed from 96 for three to 150 for six.

But Bramble struck six fours in 62 from 122 balls and all-rounder Sherfane Rutherford supported with 45, sharing 83 for the seventh wicket to revive the Jaguars.

They however, were both dismissed in the final hour, as the Scorpions fought back late in the day, with off-spinner Damani Sewell ending the day with 3-69 from 28 overs.

In St. George’s, Grenada: Cato struck five fours and one six from 154 balls and shared two successive stands that propped up the Volcanoes’ batting.

He shared 50 with former Windies vice-captain Kirk Edwards for the third wicket, and followed up with a 105-run stand with Kavem Hodge for the fourth wicket before the Hurricanes too, made a late grab of four wickets for five runs in the space off 26 balls.

Familiarity bred success for Mervyn Matthew, the former Volcanoes fast-medium bowler, as he was the pick of the Hurricanes’ bowlers with 3-22 from 15 overs.

In Bridgetown, Barbados: Just four balls were possible, as Red Force reached nought without loss in their first innings before rain and soggy conditions curtailed the rest of play.

The start had been delayed by an hour, due to wet patches on the outfield caused by rain in the island overnight and during the morning period.

Just two minutes into play, the rain interrupted and following several inspections by the umpire the decision was taken about half-hour before the scheduled close.

Play on the remaining days is scheduled to start at 1:30 pm local time.