ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – More intense rivalries are expected with the chasing teams eager to close the gap before it’s too late, when the second half of the 2019-20 West Indies Championship begins today.
The Championship resumes following a two-week break with chart-toppers Barbados Pride on 84.2 points – 23.4 clear of nearest rivals and five-time defending champions Guyana Jaguars, heading into the sixth of 10 rounds in the four-day competition. The feature match of this weekend’s play takes place at Kensington Oval, where Pride face a slippery challenge from Windward Islands Volcanoes. A fierce battle is also expected at the Trelawny Multipurpose Complex, where resurgent home team Jamaica Scorpions meet the Guyana Jaguars. And, fireworks are also expected to fly, when strugglers Leeward Islands Hurricanes host Trinidad & Tobago Red Force at Warner Park.
Scorpions vs Jaguars in Florence Hall, Jamaica
Scorpions have surged into third place in the Championship table following two wins, including a seven-wicket victory over the Jaguars on the road in the fourth round. The Jags’ defence of their title hit a further snag, when a strong second innings batting performance from Volcanoes held them to a draw in the previous round.
This sets up the battleground for an intense contest between the two sides with the Scorpions eyeing a third successive win to keep their surge on course and the Jaguars seeking to get back on track. Scorpions’ will to win is enhanced by the reality that they have won their last two matches against the Jags, including this corresponding fixture last season, when they clinched an eight-wicket triumph.
They will be hoping the change of scenery from Sabina Park in the Jamaica capital of Kingston does not affect the trend and that they can complete a season sweep and stop the Jaguars from returning the favour of a defeat on home soil. Both teams have been forced to make changes to their line-ups, but the Scorpions appear to be the hardest hit. Hardworking pacer Derval Green has been sidelined with injury; off-spinner Peat Salmon, the hero of the previous match between the two sides, has been suspended from bowling by CWI because of a suspect action; and Guyanese left-hander Assad Fudadin, whose intimate knowledge of the opposition could be useful, has been omitted because of poor form.
Jaguars have brought spinner Gudakesh Motie and Akshaya Persaud into replace Test leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo and Shimron Hetmyer, who has flown to Sri Lanka to be part of the West Indies Twenty20 International squad for their imminent series against the hosts. This will be a memorable match for Jaguars left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul, if he plays. He will be appearing in his 100th match in the Championship for the visitors, becoming only the sixth player in domestic West Indies first-class matches to have achieved this landmark. A number of other players stand on the threshold of personal milestones which could be accomplished in the match, if they play:
Squads: SCORPIONS (from): John Campbell (captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Gordon Bryan, Dennis Bulli, Nicholson Gordon, Patrick Harty Jr, Jamie Merchant, Marquino Mindley, Paul Palmer Jr, Denis Smith, Alwyn Williams, Oraine Williams. IN–Bryan, Bulli, A. Williams; OUT–Assad Fudadin, Derval Green, Peat Salmon
JAGUARS (from): Leon Johnson (captain), Christopher Barnwell, Anthony Bramble, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Keon Joseph, Veerasammy Permaul, Akshaya Persaud, Raymon Reifer, Kevin Sinclair, Vishaul Singh, Nial Smith. IN–Motie, Persaud; OUT–Devendra Bishoo, Shimron Hetmyer.
UMPIRES: Christopher Wright, Leslie Reifer Jr (Barbados)
MATCH REFEREE: Denovan Hayles
RESERVE UMPIRE: Collin Bryan
Pride vs Volcanoes in Bridgetown, Barbados
For a number of reasons, both sides are keyed up for this contest. Pride will be facing the only side that has beaten them this season and hoping that home advantage will count again, as it has twice already. But Volcanoes will be looking to bring their new-found stability into play and look to complete the season sweep against their hosts.
Pride ended the first half of the season with four wins on the trot and a fifth over a side that from time to time has been their bogey would be welcomed. Volcanoes have drawn three of the four matches they have played since that opening victory and will be keen to give more proof of their resilience.
Squads: PRIDE (from): Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Shamarh Brooks, Shane Dowrich, Dominic Drakes, Justin Greaves, Keon Harding, Chemar Holder, Kyle Mayers, Shayne Moseley, Ashley Nurse, Kemar Roach, Kevin Stoute, Jomel Warrican. IN–Warrican; OUT–Camarie Boyce.
VOLCANOES (from): Kavem Hodge (captain), Alick Athanaze, Roland Cato, Keron Cottoy, Andre Fletcher, Ryan John, Ray Jordan, Desron Maloney, Preston McSween, Shane Shillingford, Devon Smith, Emmanuel Stewart, Josh Thomas. IN–John, Thomas; OUT–Shermon Lewis, Bhaskar Yadram.
UMPIRES: Johnathan Blades, Ryan Banwarie (Guyana)
MATCH REFEREE: Stephen Proverbs
RESERVE UMPIRE: Ryan Willoughby
Hurricanes vs Red Force in Basseterre, St. Kitts
Hurricanes will be seeking to quickly put the first half of the season behind them, having lost four of their first five matches. Red Force have gone off track with two defeats and a rain-marred draw, after an encouraging start. Both teams, therefore, will be hoping that the second half of the season can bring them good fortune and they can finish strongly.
Red Force have dominated the contests between the two sides in the Professional Cricket League era of the Championship, winning six of the previous 11 matches, including an emphatic innings and 168-run victory in the second round of this season at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy. The Hurricanes squad is practically settled and with the return of pacer Jeremiah Louis to the squad, they could assemble the firepower to put the Red Force under pressure, but it will require their batting, which has badly let them down, to come to life.
Red Force have made sweeping changes and hoping that the return of long-serving leg-spin bowling all-rounder Imran Khan, international left-arm spinner Khary Pierre and experienced pacer Anderson Phillip can spark a turnaround.
Squads: HURRICANES (from): Jahmar Hamilton (captain), Sheno Berridge, Rahkeem Cornwall, Nino Henry, Montcin Hodge, Amir Jangoo, Jeremiah Louis, Jaison Peters, Kian Pemberton, Kieran Powell, Ross Powell, Devon Thomas, Terance Warde. IN–Louis, Pemberton; OUT–Colin Archibald, Damion Jacobs
RED FORCE (from): Yannick Ottley (captain), Bryan Charles, Cephas Cooper, Joshua da Silva, Terrance Hinds, Akeal Hosein, Imran Khan, Jason Mohammed, Uthman Muhammad, Anderson Phillip, Khary Pierre, Isaiah Rajah, Jeremy Solozano. IN–Cooper, Khan, Phillip, Pierre, Rajah; OUT–Yannic Cariah, Kissoondath Magram, Denesh Ramdin, Keagan Simmons, Daniel St. Clair
UMPIRES: Nigel Duguid (Guyana), Verdayne Smith (Jamaica)
MATCH REFEREE: Stewart Rawlin
RESERVE UMPIRE: Bernard Joseph
Apr 06, 2020By Zaheer Mohamed Port Kaituma Football Foundation (PKFF) is one of the leading sports organisations in Region One. The body was formed in 2009 with the aim of developing sports in the area. Its...
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