By Sean Devers in Trinidad
In association with Regal, Vnet,
Noble House Seafoods & Cascadia Hotel
The good news for the Guyana Jaguars is that they know their team is capable of defeating the best in their own back-yard as their 75-run win proved on Saturday at the Brian Lara Academy against a star studded home teamin which every member has played or been selected to play International cricket.
The bad news is that their batsmen have to now contend with a track at the Queen’s Park Oval which is as not as conducive for batting as the one at the BLA where all three of the centuries in the Trinidad zone were scored.
Today from 14:00hrs Jaguars face-off with the Windies ‘B’ team in their return match after being destroyed in their first meeting as the Jaguars ripped them to shreds.
Chasing 193 to win, Guyana’s latest ODI selectee Chanderpaul Hemraj and Chris Barnwell added as authoritative 153 runs for the second wicket. Hemraj scored his maiden ton a day before leaving the team, while Griffith batted brilliantly in his unbeaten 61 as they reached the target in 28.2 overs to earn a bonus point.
In the Windies ‘B’ innings Marlon Samuels, one of four batsmen with centuries in the tournament, was bowled for six by Sherfane Rutherford, while teenagers Keagan Simmons, the son of Lendl Simmons’ sister, Kirsten Kallicharran and Kimani Melius looked promising and all got starts without going on.
While the Jaguars have a four-match winning streak at the Brian Lara Academy after losing to the Red Force in their first game at the Oval the Windies ‘B’ have lost two of their four matches with one being rained out.
Young Simmons has scored 223 runs with two fifties, but apart from Samuels, Melius (108) is the only other batsman with 100 runs, while Yannic Cariah (81) and Alzarri Joseph (65) have gotten a half-century.
Without Samuels, who has left for the ODI camp which started yesterday, Windies ‘B’ will depend on Simmons, Cariah, Melius, Leonardo Julian and Guyanese Tevin Imlach to offer resistance to Jaguars’ bowlers today on a track which should be on the slow side and offer some turn for the spinners.
Chemar Holder (5) is the leading wicket-taker for Windies ‘B’, while Jeavor Royal, Cariah, Brian Charles and the genuinely quick Odean Smith should do the bulk of the bowling, while fast bowler Ronsford Beaton has only batted in the two matches he has played so far.
Chris Barnwell is in the best form of his life and has 246 runs with two half-centuries (61 not out & 99 not out) and is only behind Red Forces’ Nicholas Pooran (258) and Canada’s Naveet Dhaliwal (251) on runs aggregate in both the Trinidad and Barbados zones.
Barnwell can expect support from the inform Trevon Griffith (198 runs) with half-centuries in his two games, Raymond Reifer (156 runs: 2 fifties) and Sherfane Rutherford (94 runs with 1 fifty) who along with Hemraj are the Jaguars batsmen with fifties.
With Hemraj unavailable today due ODI camp Skipper Leon Johnson who has gotten two good starts in his in 70 runs from four innings will need to start converting 30s into 70s or more, while the strong lower order on paper will need to refrain throwing their wickets away with poor shot selection in the event that Barnwell, Griffith, Johnson and Reifer fall cheaply.
The Jaguars’ bowling has been the strength of the team with Rose Hall Town’s Clinton Pestano being the stand out pacer with pace, movement and control and his 10 wickets is only bettered by Canadian quickie Romesh Don’s 17 and Jaguars Jamaican-born off-spinner Ramaal Lewis, the most successful spinner in the tournament with 11 wickets.
Pestano made history on Saturday against the Red Force when he became the first Guyanese to take a hat-trick in Regional 50-over cricket since the tournament began in 1976.
When the Skeldon born pacer removed Lendl Simmons (70), Pollard (0) and DJ Bravo (0) were dismissed off successive balls he joined Rajendra Dhanraj (1996 final Guy v T&T), Kieron Pollard (2008 T&T v L/wards), Anthony Martin (2010 L/Wards v W/Wards) and Sunil Narine (2018 T&T v W/Wards) as the bowlers with 50 overs hat-tricks.
Left-arm seamer Reifer, Rutherford, Barnwell, Romario Shepherd will provide pace support while, Lewis, Ricardo Adams and Veerasammy Permaul will provide left-arm spin.
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