By Sean Devers in Trinidad
In association with Regal, Vnet,
Noble House Seafoods & Cascadia Hotel
Today from 14:00hrs leaders Jaguars (27 points) face-off with the Windies ‘B’ team in their return match at the Brian Lara Academy after the Jaguars ripped them to shreds when they first met at the same venue in Jaguars’ second game.
Chasing 193 to win, Guyana’s latest ODI selectee Chanderpaul Hemraj and Chris Barnwell added an 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 six 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 six-match unbeaten streak after losing to the Red Force in their first game at the Oval, the Windies ‘B’ have only won two of their seven matches with two being rained out and with 14 points, this final game is of only academic purposes for West Indies ‘B’.
Young Simmons has scored 229 runs with two fifties but apart from Samuels, Guyanese Tevin Imlach (153), Melius (108) are the only other batsmen with 100 runs, while Yannic Cariah (81) and Alzarri Joseph (80) have gotten a half-century.
Without Samuels, who has left from 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 (7) 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 255 runs with two half-centuries (61 not out & 99 not out) and is only behind Red Forces’ Nicholas Pooran (283) and Canada’s Naveet Dhaliwal (271) on runs aggregate in both the Trinidad and Barbados zones.
Barnwell can expect support from the inform Trevon Griffith (207 runs) with half-centuries in his two games, Raymond Reifer (217 runs: 3 fifties) and Sherfane Rutherford (121 runs with 1 fifty) who along with Hemraj are the Jaguars batsmen with fifties.
With Hemraj unavailable today due to the ODI camp, Skipper Leon Johnson, who has gotten three good starts in his in 107 runs from five innings will need to start converting 30s into 70s or more while the strong lower order on paper will need to refrain from throwing their wickets away with poor shot selection in the event that Barnwell, Griffith, Johnson and Reifer fall cheaply.
The Jaguars’ bowling have 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 11 wickets is only bettered by Canadian quickie Romesh Don’s 17 and Jaguars Jamaican-born off-spinner Ramaal Lewis, the most successful Guyanese bowler in the tournament with 12 wickets.
Pestano made history last 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.
Left-arm seamer Reifer, Rutherford, Barnwell, Romario Shepherd will provide pace support while, Lewis, Ricardo Adams and Veerasammy Permaul will provide left-arm spin.
Today is an important game for the Jaguars who want to end the zone as the number one team and there are only three scenarios that could prevent it from happening.
If the Jaguars lose and the Red Force (25 points) beat Canada at the Queen’s Park Oval or if Red Force win and the Jaguars lose or if the Red Force win and the Jaguars’ game is washed out.
The sun was out yesterday and the Jaguars had a light session in the Hotel Gym with their trainer.
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