By Sean Devers
The Guyana Jaguars, on 34 points, lead second place Trinidad & Tobago Red Force
by 14 points after two rounds of the WICB four-day First-Class cricket Franchise and will be looking to maintain their unbeaten run with a third consecutive win against defending champions Barbados Pride at Providence from today in their last game at home for the year.
The Jaguars have lost the services of Shiv Chanderpaul, Skipper Leon Johnson and Assad Fudadin who are in the West Indies squad preparing for the three Test series in South Africa which starts on December 17. Taignarine Chanderpaul, Shemron Hetmyer and Kemo Joseph are their replacements.
Narsingh Deonarine staked an early claim for a Test recall for the English tour to the Caribbean with back-to-back centuries in the first two games and also became the fourth Guyanese to score a ton and take five wickets in the same game in the last match.
Deonarine took his runs tally to 283 from three innings and will offer spin support to leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo, who boasts the best bowling figures by a Guyanese in First-Class cricket (9-78) and left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul whose 8-36, achieved in the last match, is only bettered by
Bishoo on a track that should again be low and slow and spin friendly.
Permaul is the tournament’s leading wicket taker with 16 victims. Ronsford Beaton and Keon Joseph are genuinely quick and will have medium pace back up from all-rounders Chris Barnwell and Bajan left-armer Raymond Reifer, who plays his first match against his home team.
Deonarine will hope for batting support from Rajendra Chandrika, Trevon Griffith, Taignarine Chanderpaul, Shemron Hetmyer, new Skipper Vishaul Singh, Anthony Bramble, Barnwell and Reifer as Guyana hunt their first Regional First-Class title since 1998.
Barbados, the most dominating side in Regional cricket with 20 tittles, sit in fourth position with 12 points and are without their leading run-scorer Kraigg Braithwaite. But they have in their line-up the recalled 33-year-old Ryan Hinds, who although picked primarily for his batting has the best bowling figures (9-68) in a Regional match in addition to having scored 12 First-Class hundreds.
On his day Dwayne Smith can be as destructive as anyone and will look for support from Omar Phillips, Shai Hope, Kyle Corbin, Jonathan Carter, Skipper Carlos Brathwaite and Shane Dowrich with the bat.
Hinds, Ashley Nurse, left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican and Royston Chase should enjoy the Providence track while pacers Miguel Cummins, Tino Best and Braithwaite could have a harder day at the office.
Although Guyana defeated Barbados in Bridgetown in 2012 when Deonarine snatched 7-26, the South Americans have not beaten Barbados on home soil since 1984 when they won by nine wickets at Bourda thanks to Andy Jackman’s century and an 11-wicket haul from Roger Harper. The last time these two teams met here last year Barbados won by 136 runs in a low scoring day/ night affair despite a five-wicket haul from Bishoo as the hosts were bowled out for 94 in their second innings.
Guyana and Barbados have faced each other 82 times since they met in the first ever Regional First-Class game at the Garrison Savannah in Bridgetown in 1865 and Barbados have dominated with 33 wins to Guyana’s 14 while both team’s highest total at this level were achieved against each other.
In 1966, when the Shell Shield was inaugurated, Barbados amassed 559-9 declared in Barbados against Guyana who responded with 641-5 declared the next year in the first series played by Guyana as an Independent Nation.
Both of the matches here have been affected by adverse weather since this is the first time a Regional First-Class tournament has been fixed for this time of the year which is the rainy season and thunderstorms are again forecast during the course of this contest.
However, bad light should not be an issue since the playing conditions clearly state “If in the opinion of the umpires, natural light is deteriorating to an unfit level, they shall authorize the ground authorities to use the available artificial lighting so that the match can continue in acceptable conditions.
The lights are only to be used to enable a full day’s play to be completed as provided in clause 16. In the event of a power failure or malfunctioning lights, the provisions relating to the delay or interruption of play due to bad weather or light shall apply”.
Today’s battle is scheduled to commence to at 09:30hrs and admission is free.
Guyana Jaguars: Rajindra Chandrika, Narsingh Deonarine, Raymond Reifer, Anthony Bramble (wk), Christopher Barnwell, Veerasammy Permaul, Devendra Bishoo, Ronsford Beaton, Vishal Singh, Trevon Griffith, Taignarine Chanderpaul, Shemron Hetmyer, Keon Joseph, Rayon Griffith (Asst Coach/Manager), Esuan Crandon (Coach).
Barbados Pride: Carlos Brathwaite (captain), Shai Hope, Kyle Corbin, Jonathan Carter, Shane Dowrich, Ryan Hinds, Jomel Warrican, Dwayne Smith, Omar Phillips, Ashley Nurse, Miguel Cummins, Tino Best, Roston Chase, Hartley Reid (Manager), Henderson Springer (Coach).
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