By Sean Devers in Barbados
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Although the Jaguars, on 14 points, cannot prevent Barbados Pride from advancing to the final-four in Antigua, they can stop their winning streak today at the 3Ws Oval when they square off in the sixth round of the Regional
Super50 tournament from 09:00hrs.
With 24 points and three matches remaining, the Bajans have taken advantage of their hard bouncy home tracks and is the only unbeaten team in the tournament. They got a bonus point in every game except against Jamaica.
Barbados have 12 West Indies players in their line-up, while Kraigg Braithwaite, who along with Kerion Powell are the only batsmen with two centuries and 300 runs. The Jaguars will remember Braithwaite’s 101 the last time they met in the opening game.
Off-spinner Ashley Nurse is the leading wicket-taker in the tournament (13) while left-arm spinner Suleiman Benn is the most economical just ahead of Jaguars’ off-spinner Steven Jacobs.
The Bajans, last year’s runners-up, are favored to claim their fifth title after winning their first in the inaugural tournament in 1976 when Emerson Trotman scored the competition’s first ton against Guyana at Bourda.
When they last met, Pride made 302-7 with Jonathon Carter scoring 75, Skipper Jason Holder smashing a 21-ball 31, Nurse making 28 from 15 balls and Roston Chase finishing unbeaten 20 from 10 as every bowler except Jacobs took a pounding.
Only Johnson (55) reached 20 for the Jaguars who fell for 157 as Nurse and Benn spun webs around the batsmen with four wickets each.
But today is a new day and a new match and Guyana will be hunting their 18th win in 36 encounters against the Bajans, who have won on 16 occasions with two no-results and the other game being washed out.
Johnson has been Guyana’s most consistent batsman with scores of 55, 2 not out, 0, 78 & 71 while Shiv Chanderpaul became the leading run scorer in Regional 50-over cricket when he made an unbeaten 58 in the last match.
The 42-year-old scored 101 against Jamaica in a losing cause and 22 not out against ICC Americas in his only three innings to top the averages with 181.00.
Fudadin has one fifty but has failed to build on good starts, while Rajendra Chandrika and Shemron Hetymer have both failed to fire and the problem of getting a solid foundation from their openers still remain a problem for the Jaguars who will hope to solve that today.
Chris Barnwell’s last two innings were both unbeaten and both included a six and it is heartening to see him bat with positivity as he bats for DCC where he is described as a local cricket bully.
Anthony Bramble missed the last game but has recovered from an ankle injury and should take back the gloves from Hetymer who did a good job behind the stumps, while Reifer, one of only three Jaguar batsmen with 100 runs, has served his team well with both bat and ball.
Jacobs, with 4 wickets and an economy rate of 2.77, is Guyana’s best bowler and judging from his last innings, his batting form seems to be returning. Paul Wintz bowled well in his only game and could retain his place in the side.
Ronsford Beaton has bowled with pace and Jaguars could again go into this game with a pace quartet along with Jacobs and Permaul, leaving no room for Jonathon Foo, Bishoo and either Chandrika or Hetymer.
The Jaguars need two wins from their three remaining games and will want Pride to beat CCC and Jamaica to challenge for their first title in 12 years.
Apart from the inform Kraigg Braithwaite (302 runs) and Carter, Anthony Allen, Shai Hope, Chase, Holder, the bit hitting Carlos Braithwaite, Shane Dowrich, Nurse and Benn gives the home side plenty of batting fire power, especially on the smaller 3Ws ground.
Miguel Cummins, Holder, Carlos Braithwaite, Nurse and Benn should lead the bowling.
Although the crowds have been disappointing, today’s game should see the biggest crowd of the tournament since the second largest population in Barbados is Guyanese and this could be home games for both teams.
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