Mar 11, 2016 Sports
Shiv Chanderpaul and Chris Barnwell back
By Sean Devers in Antigua In Association with Noble House Seafoods
The Leon Johnson led Guyana Jaguars are two wins away from establishing the record for most wins in a season when they start their ninth round PCL four-day match against the Leewards Hurricanes today at the Sir Vivian
Richards Stadium here in North Sound Antigua.
Another win in this game will give the Jaguars their eighth win for the season and extend their unbeaten streak, which began in the fourth round of last season (November 2014) to 16. Only two teams have ever won eight matches in a single season.
Jamaica achieved the feat twice (2005 & 2012) while Guyana won eight of their ten matches last year. The defending champions start today’s round 19 points ahead of second placed Barbados on 106.
The maximum points for a win is 20 and if the Jagaurs, who play Jamaica at Providence in the last game from next Friday, can finish on top this season, Johnson will be the first Guyanese Captain to win back-to-back titles, joining Clive Lloyd and Roger Harper as the only Guyana Skippers with two titles.
But while the Guyanese Franchise will be keeping an eye on the Barbados / T&T game in Central Trinidad, they will know that despite their bottom-of-the-table position, the Leewards could spring an upset victory to break the Jaguars’ unbeaten streak.
In 37 matches between the two teams since their first in 1983, which Guyana, led by five-wicket hauls from Butts and Harper and a century from the late Andrew Lyght, won by 173 runs, the South Americans have won 11 of their matches against the Leewards, losing 10 and drawing 16. Today, as Guyana hunt another win to take them one game closer to their eighth Regional
First-Class title, they cannot afford to take the Islanders for granted. The Leewards have invested in their under-19 World Cup pair of Kacey Carty who made a fifty on debut in the last round and the genuinely quick pacer Alzarri Joseph who has 18 wickets from six First-Class games, including a five-wicket haul when the two teams last met at Providence last year.
They have also recalled 26-year-old Kieron Powell who played 21 Tests after two years in the wilderness. The Leewards batting has been disappointing with only wicket-keeper Jahmar Hamilton scoring a hundred in addition to two fifties while their Jamaican Franchise player Nkrumah Bonner has the most runs (499).
Of the other batsmen only the burly Rakeem Cornwall and Orlando Peters have 300 runs. Cornwall has the most wickets for Leewards (36) but Guyana’s biggest test could be from the new ball pair of Joseph and the experienced Gavin Tonge, the only other bowlers with more than 10 wickets.
Shiv Chanderpaul and Chris Barnwell return after injuries and Guyana’s batting will hinge on Johnson and his Vice-Captain Vishaul Singh, the only two batsmen with 600 runs. Rajendra Chandrika and the in form 19-year-old Taignarine Chanderpaul would hope to give the Jaguars a firm foundation while Shiv, keeper Anthony Bramble, who has the most dismissals (28), Raymond Reifer, Veerasammy Permaul and Devendra Bishoo gives the visitors batting depth. Although they have played in the same match, Taignarine and his father has never batted together in a First-Class game
and this could be the opportunity for the pair to do so.
The Jaguars’ bowling could again depend on spinners Bishoo and Permaul but if the track is a fast one to accommodate the lively Joseph, then pacers Ronsford Beaton Keon Joseph and Reifer could do some early damage, leaving no room for 20-year-old left arm spinner and Guyana’s leading wicket-taker this season Gudakesh Motie.
Jaguars’ squad: Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Rajendra Chandrika, Leon Johnson (Captain), Vishaul Singh (V/Captain), Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Raymon Reifer, Anthony Bramble (Wicketkeeper), Christopher Barnwell, Veerasammy Permaul, Gudakesh Motie, Devendra Bishoo, Keon Joseph, Ronsford Beaton, Esuan Crandon (Head Coach), Rayon Griffith (Assistant Coach/Manager) Beverley Nelson (Physiotherapist).
Hurricanes squad: Nkrumah Bonner (Captain), Orlando Peters (Vice Captain), Keacy Carty, Rahkeem Cornwall, Daron Cruickshank, Colin Hamer, Jahmar Hamilton (Wicketkeeper), Montcin Hodge, Alzarri Joseph, Jeremiah Louis, Kieran Powell, Jacques Taylor, Gavin Tonge Photos: Johnson, Singh, Alzarri Joseph & Powell.
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