By Sean Devers in Trinidad
There is the risk of thunderstorms today in the of Port-of-Spain as Guyana Jaguars and the USA, playing in their third consecutive Regional Super50, lock horns from 13:30 hrs in a Day/Night encounter at the Queens Park Oval.
Both teams come off Group B defeats in their last game on Saturday night when T&Ts Red Force beat the Jaguars to remain unbeaten with eight points and West Indies Emerging Players beat the USA.
The Emerging Players who were defeated by Jaguars in the opening round, are in second place, since although they on the same points (4) with the Jaguars, they have a superior net run rate than the South American team who are third on the points table.
These three teams have each played two matches, while the USA and the Windwards Volcanoes, the other teams in the Trinidad zone, have both lost their only games and are yet to come off the mark.
Each team play eight matches in the preliminary double round and the top two from this zone and top from the St Kitts zone will clash in the semis with the winners advancing to the December 1 finals in Trinidad.
Red Force, Jaguars and Volcanoes are the contenders for a final four placing but the USA, recently being given ODI status and the Emerging Players can cause a few upsets.
The Jaguars batting continues to be a concern after they struggled to 189-8 in a last ball win in their first and just managing 188-9 in a game reduced to 43 overs against the Red Force who reached their target in 36 overs ending on 191-4.
The Red Force pair of Jeremy Solozano and Daren Bravo along with Devon Thomas from the Leewards have scored centuries, while Kemol Savorys painstaking debut unbeaten 71 is the only fifty by a Jaguars batsman.
All of the Jaguars batmen, with exception of Tagenarine Chanderpaul, have gotten starts but none apart from Savory has been able to reach 40.
The top order has struggled to rotate the strike and find gaps, while the Jaguars batsmen have the highest dot ball percentage in the tournament so with Savory alone facing 17 overs of dot balls in the first game.
Today this has to improve against a USA team which includes former Guyana U-19 batsman Berbician Akshay Homraj who played in the 2013 & 2014 regional U-19 Tournaments when Keemo Paul and Shimron Hetmyer played for Guyana.
Homraj, who migrated to the US in 2014, along with two Australians, medium-pacer all-rounder Ian Holland and fast bowler Cameron Stevenson, who qualify as US passport holders are also in the 16-man squad.
Fast bowler Saurabh Netravalkar leads the team which has players such as the Jamaican pair of former West Indies Test batsman Xavier Marshall and Steven Taylor.
After their loss the night before the Jaguars were given the day off yesterday to recharge their bodies and minds and played an unchanged team today.
Ronsford Beaton will spearhead the pace attack support from Clinton Pestano and fast bowling all-rounders Raymon Reifer and Chris Barnwell if needed with off-spinner Jamaican Ramaal Lewis, their leading wicket taker Veerasammy Permaul and fellow left arm spinner Hemraj taking care of the spinning.
Head Coach Esuan Crandon informed that regular Wicket-Keeper Anthony Bramble has been told to rest for seven days which would rule him out from todays game as he recovers from a minor surgery to remove a growth from the right side of his head.
Bramble, who was with the team for their matches, says he is recovering and should be available for Guyanas next match against the Windwards on Friday after drawing the bye on Wednesday.
Despite their loss to Red Force the team spirit is high and players are confident of an improved performance in the coming matches.
Jaguars Squad:Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Leon Johnson(Captain), Christopher Barnwell, Raymon Reifer, Anthony Bramble, Gudakesh Motie, Veerasammy Permaul, Clinton Pestano, Ronsford Beaton, Nial Smith, Jonathan Foo, Kemol Savory, Ramaal Lewis, Esuan Crandon (Head Coach), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (Assistant Coach), Neil Barry (Physiotherapist/ Strength & Conditioner).
USA Squad: Saurabh Netravalkar (Capt), Karima Gore, Ian Holland, Akshay Homraj, Elmore Hutchinson, Aaron Jones, Nosthush Kenjige, Xavier Marshall, Monank Patel, Nisarg Patel, Sagar Patel, Timil Patel, Jessy Singh, Cameron Stevenson, Steven Taylor, Rusty Theron.
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