By Sean Devers
Last year’s runners-up Guyana Jaguars, who lost in the final to Trinidad and Tobago, open their 2016
NAGICO Super50 campaign today at the St Paul’s ground in St Kitts from 09:00hrs when they face the Windwards Volcanoes in one of four first round games.
In the 2015 final the Jaguars crashed to 65 all out as Sunil Narine spun the Trinis to championship honours and this year the South American based Franchise will be hoping to be the bride rather than the bridesmaid to capture their ninth title.
The road to fulfilling that hope begins today in the third edition under NAGICO’s sponsorship after Jamaica beat T&T at Providence to lift the inaugural title and T&T won last year in Port-of-Spain.
On a track which should offer more bounce than the ones at Providence, the Jaguars will rely on a strong batting line-up to build a big score if they bat first and mount a successful run-chase if they bowl first.
The last time these teams met in this competition, the Jaguars roared to an emphatic 142-run win in Trinidad under lights.
Rajendra Chandrika stroked a classy 52, while Vishaul Singh offered support with a solid 49 on debut. Anthony Bramble hammered an explosive unbeaten 23-ball 43 and featured in an unfinished 71-run seventh wicket partnership with Bajan Raymond Reifer (23*) to lift the Jaguars to 227-6.
Man-of-the-match Veerasammy Permaul produced a mesmerizing spell of 10-5-12-4 and got support from Chris Barnwell (2-23) leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo (2-11) as the Volcanoes crashed to 85 all out from 33.4 overs.
Chandrika and Bishoo are unavailable due to West Indies duties in Australia and the experienced Assad
Fudadin and Essequibian Kevin Boodie has the task of building a solid foundation for the Jaguars.
The openers are the perfect foil for each other with Fudadin being the stabilizer and Boodie the entertainer. Leon Johnson, who takes over the captaincy from Barnwell, has been consistent in the PCL while Singh will want to transfer his wonderful form from the First-Class tournament to the shorter format.
The experienced Shiv Chanderpaul will want to prove that he is still an asset to the team and will be wary of not using up too many dot balls, especially if he and Singh or Fudadin find themselves batting together.
Barnwell is capable of playing pugnaciously but if he comes in with not too many overs remaining he might be tempted to slug. Bramble and Reifer are both free scorers in this format but it won’t be a big surprise if the 22-year-old Boodie is asked to ‘Keep’ today to accommodate an extra bowler.
Guyana’s bowling could hinge on spin with off-spinner Royston Crandon, who got a hundred on his 50-over debut against the same opposition in Grenada in 2007, opening the bowling with either Reifer or Paul Wintz, depending on how the surface looks this morning.
If the track is dry then 20-year-old left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie, who has 34 wickets at the halfway stage of the PCL, could make his 50-over debut and operate together with Permaul. Barnwell and Fudadin are medium pace options for the Jaguars.
The first of the Windward’s Regional one-day titles was won in Grenada when they beat Guyana in the 1989 final and today they will depend on Devon Smith, who has an ODI hundred and five centuries at this level, along
with Johnson Charles, who has two centuries in ODIs and Andre Fletcher, who has two fifties from 18 ODIs.
They will expect support from Sunil Ambris, Miles Bascombe, Kavem Hodge and Skipper Liam Sebastian, while pacers Delorn Johnson, Mervin Matthews and Bajan Kyle Mayers along with spinners Shane Shillingford, Keron Cottoy, who made his Regional one-day debut against Guyana six years ago and Sebastien should do the bowling. Joel Wilson and Verdayne Smith are the Umpires today.
The other game in St Kitts sees the Leewards facing CCC from 13:30hrs, while in Zone ‘A’ in Trinidad, the defending Champions battle Jamaica from 13:30hrs after Barbados come-up against ICC Americas from 09:00hrs.
Guyana Jaguars: Leon Johnson, Chris Barnwell, Kevon Boodie, Anthony Bramble, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Royston Crandon, Assad Fudadin, Steven Jacobs, Gudakesh Motie, Veerasammy Permaul, Raymon Reifer, Romario Shepherd, Vishaul Singh, Paul Wintz
Windward Volcanoes: Sunil Ambris, Miles Bascombe, Johnson Charles, Keron Cottoy, Andre Fletcher, Kavem Hodge, Delorn Johnson, Vincent Lewis, Mervin Matthew, Kyle Mayers, Liam Sebastien, Shane Shillingford, Devon Smith, Tyrone Theophile.
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