By Sean Devers in Antigua
In association with Vnet Communications,
Bounty Farm, Noble House Seafoods &
This evening’s game between Guyana Jaguars and Leewards Hurricanes will be a crucial one for the South American Franchise, sitting on top of the points table on 18 points with a net run rate of 0.476 after six matches.
Hurricanes are on nine points from six matches with a NRR of -0.28 and the Jaguars will be hunting a win with a bonus point tonight to take them to 23 points.
But although Jaguars go into this game as Group ‘B’ leaders, a point ahead of Kent Spitfire, the English side have only played five games and still have Jamaica Scorpions, USA and Hurricanes to play.
The Jaguars will hope that Kent beat Jamaica (15 points from 5 matches) in the other game here today since they face Jamaica in their last game on Friday.
After losing the last two games after stating with successive wins in their first three, Guyana Jaguars got their campaign back on track with an emphatic seven-wicket win over the USA with Chanderpaul Hemraj (64) and Shiv Chanderpaul (39) setting up the victory which was completed by Chris Barnwell, whose second six ended the contest in the 31st over to finish unbeaten on 19 from 16 balls.
Leewards Hurricanes, on the other hand, suffered a mauling against Jamaica Scorpions as Chadwick Walton’s explosive 169 and a 23-ball 51 from Andre Russell powered Scorpions to 329-7.
The host team was then shot out for 181 as only Terrence Ward (40) and Keacy Carty (33) offered fight.
Today Hurricanes with be without Rakeem Cornwall, Keiran Powell, Jeremiah Louis and possibly Marlon Samuels who did not play in the last match. Samuels, like Hetmyer and Devendra Bishoo, who will both play tonight, are scheduled to leave tomorrow for Windies World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe.
A lot will depend on Hetmyer to get his second ton of the tournament in his farewell game after throwing away his wicket twice when well set in the 40s.
Hemraj is also an aggressive opener and the pair could take advantage of the first ‘power-play’ on a track which could again be on the slowish side.
Chanderpaul should provide stability at number three while Johnson will provide balance at four.
Barnwell, Rutherford, Bramble, Paul and Romario Shepherd, who could return to side in place of Adams who played in the last game, are capable of clearing the small ground with sensible hitting.
Paul, with 12 wickets so far, will spearhead the four-prong seam attack which includes Shepherd, Rutherford and Barnwell, who seems to have settled into this team quite nicely.
Bishoo will want to make an impression in his last game which will also be televised live by ESPN and have ball-by-ball commentary by ABS.
Veerasammy Permaul, and if required, fellow-left arm spinner Hemraj could provide spin support.
Without Cornwall, who scored two tons before leaving for Windies ‘A’ team duties, Hurricanes’ batting will back on Hodge, Carty, Devon Thomas, Ward and Justin Athanaze.
When these teams met in the first round Jaguars won by 19 runs after the Jaguars, led by a classy 99 from Skipper Leon Johnson, 47 from Shimron Hetmyer and blistering cameos by Anthony Bramble and Sherfane Rutherford, made 298-8. Rakeem Cornwall was the best bowler for the home team.
Hurricanes were then bowled out for 282 despite a brilliant 119 from Cornwall, 48 from Monchin Hodge and 42 from Terrance Ward as Kemo Paul captured his maiden five-wicket haul (5-76) and Sherfane Rutherford supported with 2-34.
Jaguars’ Manager Colin Stuart said that rain fell and their morning practice session had to be switched to tonight’s match venue later yesterday afternoon where the team had a net session and training drills.
Stuart informed that both Gudakesh Motie and Tagenarine Chanderpaul practiced with the team but will officially join the team when Hetmyer and Bishoo leave.
“Everyone is fit and ready and we know the importance of winning tomorrow (today). We plan to play positive but intelligent and although they (Hurricanes) have lost a few key players including Cornwall, we won’t leave anything to chance and will go hard at them,” said Stuart.
The former West Indies pacer informed that the final X1 will be decided after the meeting this morning.
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