By Sean Devers in Barbados
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After suffering first round defeats on Tuesday both the Guyana Jaguars and the Jamaica Scorpions will look to rebound today when they face-off at the Kensington Oval in Barbados in the second day/ night encounter for the Jaguars from 13:30hrs.
On Tuesday, on a good batting track at Kensington Oval, Barbados Pride, led by a maiden ton from Kraigg Braithwaite and Barbados’ fourth 300 plus Total, hammered the Jaguars by 145 runs with 18 overs to spare, despite an entertaining 55 from Skipper Leon Johnson.
Over at the 3Ws ground at Cave Hill, home team CCC Marooners registered a convincing 75-run victory the Jamaican Franchise, who were dismissed for 140, to take a bonus point and join Barbados, who also got a bonus point for their win, at the top of zone ‘B’ on five points each.
Guyana and Jamaica are both without a point but the Jaguars, who like Jamaica, have nine titles at this level, should have the advantage of having played already at this venue where they will five of their eight matches in the Barbados zone. All of the games at Kensington are day/night affairs under lights.
These teams have faced each other 20 times with Guyana winning 10, Jamaica winning nine and the other one ending in a tie.
Barbados rattled up 302-7 on Tuesday but Jamaica’s highest Regional 50 over total is 307-5 against Barbados at Sabina Park in 2002 and while their batting is a lot weaker than on that occasion, the pitch and the lightening fast outfield at Kensington is conducive for big totals.
But Guyana, whose highest total was made 37 years ago in Antigua when Skipper Roy Fredericks century spearheaded them to 327-7 and their first Regional 50 overs title in 1980 and although their batting looks strong on paper, cricket is not played on paper but in the middle.
But the Jaguars’ batting faulted badly with only Johnson who hit eight fours and a six in 55, reaching 20 for the South American Franchise and a vastly improved permanence is needed if Guyana hopes to capture their first title since 2005.
Head Coach Esuan Crandon is disappointed in the overall performance but especially the batting which resulted in the Jaguars losing their last five wickets for just 17 runs as they struggled to 157 all out.
“Yes I am disappointed that we did not show more fight. Leon batted really well but wickets kept falling around him. I was not too worried about the amount of dot balls bowled since you can’t take anything away from their bowlers who bowled good lines. On a seaming pitch we had to leave a lot of balls,” Crandon said.
He added that he felt the bowlers apart from Jacobs, allowed the batsmen to score too freely with Bishoo and Permaul bowling too slowly at times.
The 42-year-old Shiv Chanderpaul who needs another 133 runs to go past Bajan Floyd Reifer (2,878 runs) to become the leading run scorer in Regional 50 overs cricket, missed the opening game due a ‘stiff neck’ while Chris Barnwell, who batted well in the two practice games in preparation for this tournament, also missed Tuesday’s game due to an injury to his right hand.
But Crandon informed that Chanderpaul has recovered fully, while Barnwell should have a fitness test this morning and both players are likely to play today. The former Guyana fast bowler also informed that the team had a long meeting after the game at the ground at which the areas of concern were addressed.
Shimron Hetymer faced just three balls before he fell for a duck in the first over, while Assad Fudadin made 18 from 31 balls, Rajendra Chandrika took 17 deliveries to make 10, Jonathon Foo selected for the first time since 2011 for his positive batting, laboured for 18 balls for his eight runs. Anthony Bramble (8), Raymon Reifer (16), Steven Jacobs (11) and Veerasammy Permaul (16) all fell cheaply in a disappointing batting display in which 121 dot balls were bowled in 32 overs.
Apart from Jacobs (10-0-29-0) all of the other frontline bowlers conceded more than 55 runs with Ronsford Beaton being the quickest but most expensive with figures of 9-1-69-1.
Brandon King with 48, was the only Jamaican to offer any resistance on Tuesday and they will also depend on Chadwick Walton and John Campbell to give them a firm foundation with support from Jermaine Blackwood, Devon Thomas and Rovman Powell with the bat and 22-year-old rookie off-spinner Damani Sewell, Damion Jacobs, Jerome Tailor, Skipper Nikta Miller and Reynard Leveridge with the ball if they hope to kick start their tournament.
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