By Sean Devers in Trinidad in association with Noble House Seafoods, Payless Variety Store, Star Party Rentals and Cascadia Hotel.
Today at the Queens Park Oval in Port-of-Spain, both the Guyana Jaguars and hosts Trinidad & Tobago’s
Red Force will hope to rebound after suffering defeats in their last round games in the WICB Four-Day First-Class Cricket Franchise as they face-off in the fourth and final round of matches for the year in a game that could be affected by rain.
Leaders Guyana Jaguars on 39 points suffered an embarrassing two-run defeat chasing 69 to win at Providence after Barbados had recovered from following-on, due to a brainless batting display by the home team.
The Red Force, fourth on the points table on 23 points following their 37-run loss to Jamaica on home turf in their last match, will also want to improve their position in their last game before the tournament breaks for the Christmas Holidays.
Guyana Captain Vishaul Singh feels complacency caused Guyana’s defeat in the last match but said his team is confident of rebound here since they are playing good cricket and led Barbados throughout the game at Providence expect the final session which proved to be the most important.
The Jaguars, with six titles but none since 1998, beat Leewards and Windwards before losing to defending champions Barbados while Red Force drew with Barbados in Trinidad, beat Leewards in St Kitts before Jamaica beat them at the Queens Park Oval
Only Devon Smith, who replaced injured Chris Gayle in the West Indies team for their Test series against South Africa, has more runs this year than Guyana’s Narsingh Deonarine’s 285. However, the left-hander from Albion in Berbice had scores of 2 and duck in the debacle against Barbados after scoring hundreds in the first two matches.
Today he will spearhead a fragile Jaguars batting line-up badly missing the services of trio Shiv Chanderpaul, Leon Johnson and Assad Fudadin, who are all in South Africa with the West Indies team.
Wicketkeeper Anthony Bramble has batted with confidence and along with the elegant Rajindra Chandrika has 100 runs this season while a lot will be expected of teenager Shemron Hetmyer, who looked good against
Barbados when he made 47.
Trevon Griffith, Skipper Singh and the two all-rounders Chris Barnwell and Barbadian left-hander Raymond Reifer are all capable of runs at this level, but they need to start contributing runs soon.
Reifer has looked ordinary and could be replaced by the genuinely quick Keon Joseph to share the new ball with West Indies ‘A’ team pacer lively Ronsford Beaton against a team, who like Guyana, are not as comfortable against pace as they are against spin.
Left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul is the tournament’s leading wicket-taker with 28 scalps and will bank on support from leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo (15 wickets) and off-spinner Deonarine to do the bulk of the bowling.
Imran Khan bagged 6-52 and top scored with 26 in the Red Force’s defeat to Jamaica while Evin Lewis 25 was the top scorer T&T’s 131 all out. After Skipper Rayad Emrit had 2-39, Daniel St Clair 3-38, Akeal Hosein 2-18 in Jamaica’s 196 all out. Red Force, in their second innings made 201 with Nicolas Pooran scoring 55, Hosein 35*, Emrit 30, Lendl Simmons 27 as Nikita Miller (7-63) bowled Jamaica to victory.
The Trinis are without the services of Denish Ramdin and Shannon Gabriel who are in South Africa with West Indies, the Bravo siblings, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine and Ravi Rampaul (for various reasons).
The Red Force are also without former West Indies Captain Guyanese Ramnaresh Sarwan, who was bought by the T&T Franchise before personal reasons forced him to pull out of the Four-Day tournament to return to Guyana.
Lendl Simmons, Yannick Ottley and Jason Mohammed the only batsmen in the Red Force team with 100 runs while and Imran Khan, who is also their leading wicket-taker, is next in line among the run scorers and a lot will depend on how they bat today. Nicolas Pooran played the last game as a batsman with Stephen Katwaroo doing the wicket-keeping duties.
Jeremy Solozano, who plays spin well could also get a look in today against the spin based Jaguars attack while Evin Lewis and Skipper Rayad Emrit are also capable with the bat. Leg-spinner Khan should spearhead the attack while pacers Emrit and Guyanese born Marlon Richards have both picked up crucial wickets for T&T, who hunt their sixth title and first since 2006.
Yannick Cariah, the leg-spinning all-rounder, has replaced off-spinner Kerwyn Sirju in the only change from the last game. Cariah, who missed the last match, leads the TT batting averages with 81.0 and along with left-arm pacer Daniel St. Clair, who took three wickets on his debut against Jamaica, could also play important roles for the Red Force.
The last time these two teams met in a drawn game at Providence earlier this year Bishoo got a Guyana record 9-78 and match-figures of 15-149 which is only bettered by Trinidadian leg-spinner Rajendra Dhanraj’s 16-167.
Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago have faced each other in 52 matches with the Guyanese winning 11, losing 12 and drawing 29 of those matches. Guyana, then playing as Demerara, first met Trinidad in a First-Class match in 1876 when Trinidad won by an innings and 28 runs at the Parade Ground in Georgetown and will want to celebrate Christmas with their third win this year.
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 (Head Coach).
Trinidad & Tobago Red Force: Rayad Emrit (Captain), Jason Mohammed (Vice-Captain), Evin Lewis, Lendl Simmons, Yannick Ottley, Nicholas Pooran, Imran Khan, Steven Katwaroo, Akeal Hosein, Marlon Richards, Daniel St. Clair, Jeremy Solozano, Yannick Cariah, Manohar Ramsaran (Manager), Augustine Logie (Coach), Kelvin Williams (Assistant Coach), Ronald Rogers (Trainer), Oba Gulston (Physio), Dinesh Mahabir (Video Analyst).
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