By Sean Devers
Following a confidence boosting victory inside three days against the Leewards in
their opening match at Providence in WICB four-day First Class cricket Franchise, the Guyana Jaguars return to Providence today with the same 13-man squad and are aiming to roar against the Windward Islands Volcanoes in their second round contest.
In a game which could be affected by adverse weather, thunderstorms is forecast for today with the weather improving on Saturday and although Providence is one of the world’s fastest drying International cricket venues, accumulating early points could be the goal of both teams.
The sun was present yesterday afternoon and the ‘square’ was well covered while the ground was not affected by yesterday’s showers. Neither of the teams practiced yesterday. The commencement time has been pulled forward by 30 minutes from the scheduled10:00hrs start because at this time of the year it gets dark sooner.
In 34 matches between the two sides since they first met in 1983 at Windsor Park when Guyana won by 108 runs thanks to 143 from Faoud Bacchus and a five-wicket haul from Clyde Butts, Guyana have won 13 times and the Windwards seven with 14 of those matches ending in draws.
The Jaguars lead the points table with 17, one ahead of Jamaica who beat the Volcanoes. The Windwards occupy the fifth spot with just three points and will hope for improvement after falling 14 runs short of their victory target against Jamaica.
Esuan Crandon, the Jaguars’ Head Coach said it was good to win the first game, but stressed that the players can’t afford to get complacent. “We have played well as a team. It’s still early days as we have played just one game; there is lot of cricket left in this tournament. We still have nine games to go, but
it is good to have a win under the belt,” said the 32 year-old Crandon.
“It was a great all-round team performance. The batting was outstanding; especially Deonarine, and the bowlers all did a splendid job, so maintaining the momentum will be the main aim going forward.” concluded Crandon, who has 90 wickets from 38 First-Class games.
The last time these teams faced each other the match ended in a draw at Providence earlier this year despite a well played 114 by Sunil Ambris. Liam Sebastian scored 60 as the Windwards reached 307 in their first innings.
Assad Fudadin got 82 as Guyana made 213 before left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul grabbed 7-49 as the visitors collapsed for 114 in their second innings. Guyana were 171-7 when the game ended with Kenroy Peters picking up his second four-wicket haul of the game.
Bajan left-arm all-rounder Raymond Reifer bowled with good control in his first game for the Jaguars while Essequibian Ronsford Beaton bowled with genuine pace in his opening burst but his pace dipped when he returned to bowl later in the day.
Leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo, who captured seven wickets against the Leewards, Permaul, who took five wickets in the opening match and off-spinner Narsingh Deonarine, should do the bulk of the bowling for the hosts and the spinners should again enjoy the Providence track.
The Jaguars’ batting is strong especially since Deonarine made a ton in his last match and seems back to top form. Rajendra Chandrika showed glimpses of brilliance against the Leewards while the Test trio
of Skipper Leon Johnson, Assad Fudadin and veteran Shiv Chanderpaul are not expected to fail with the bat for two consecutive matches.
With all-rounders Reifer and Chris Barnwell, wicket-keeper Anthony Bramble, Permaul and Bishoo all capable of scoring runs at this level the Jaguars’ does not have much of a tail. Skipper Sebastian and left-arm spinner Alston Bobb who had 11 wickets in the first round, could enjoy the strip with their spin but pacers Mervin Matthew, Nelon Pascal and Kenroy Peters could find bowling at Providence hard work.
The Volcanoes have the potential to erupt if 33-year-old left-hander Devon Smith, who has played 33 Tests and still a very dangerous campaigner at this level. Despite managing just a single Test hundred he has 23 tons from 154 First-Class matches and will no doubt be the rock the Volcanoes are built on.
The 21-year-old Ambris should have fond memories of Guyana since he scored a debut century the last time he played here. He will expect batting support from the Skipper, Johnson Charles and Andrew Fletcher, both West Indies ODI batsmen, Lindon James, Tyrone Theophile, Romel Currency and Keddy Lesporis.
Teams: Guyana Jaguars: Leon Johnson (Captain), Assad Fudadin (Vice-Captain), Rajindra Chandrika, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine, Raymond Reifer, Anthony Bramble (wk), Christopher Barnwell, Veerasammy Permaul, Devendra Bishoo, Ronsford Beaton, Vishal Singh, Trevon Griffith.
Windward Islands Volcanoes: Liam Sebastian (captain), Sunil Ambris, Alston Bobb, Johnson Charles, Romel Currency, Andre Fletcher, Lindon James, Keddy Lesporis, Mervin Matthew, Nelon Pascal, Kenroy Peters, Devon Smith, Tyrone Theophile.
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