Oct 31, 2022 Sports
– Sunil Narine back for Red Force
By Sean Devers in Trinidad
Action in Zone ‘A’ of the CG United Regional Super50 starts today with a couple big match-ups with all of the best white balls players available due to West Indies failing to qualify for ongoing T20 World Cup in Australia.
Guyana’s Harpy Eagles face-off with the Windwards Volcanoes in the first match from 9 am today at the Queen’s Park Oval in the City of Port-of-Spain.
Defending champions Trinidad & Tobago Red Force, with Sunil Narine, back in T&T colours, oppose Combined Campuses & Colleges at the Brian Lara Academy in a Day/Night game in Tarouba.
When Guyana and the Windwards last met in last year’s Semi-finals in Antigua, Shimron Hetmyer’s masterful 113 and a solid 90 from Bajan Raymon Reifer powered Guyana to 305-7 for an emphatic 95-run victory.
Only 23-year-old Alick Athanaze with 58, reached 50 as Guyana reached their fourth final since winning their last title back in 2005 at Bourda, before losing last year to the Red Force.
Due to the returning players from T20 World Cup, CWI has allowed for larger squads from the originally stipulated 14 players. However, this is only applicable for the period prior to the departure of the West Indies Test team on November 8, when the teams must revert to 14 players only.
But Guyana, who opted not to pick any overseas players in their squad, will not benefit from this, since Hetmyer was the only Guyanese picked for the World Cup but missed it due to missing his flight.
When the Test players leave it will also not hurt Guyana much since Tagenarine Chanderpaul is the only Guyanese selected to go to Australia.
Guyana, who won the first of nine titles in 1980 in Antigua, had their final practice session yesterday morning at the Oval and the 25-year-old Hetmyer, who scored his seventh List ‘A’ century in last year’s Semis, will be keen to resurrect his International career by leading from the front with the bat.
A focused Hetmyer is Guyana’s best batter and should want to surpass Ramnaresh Sarwan’s three tons in 2005, which is the most in a single domestic 50-over series.
If the batters produce consistent performances, Guyana has a powerful batting line-up.
Leon Johnson, at 35, is the oldest member of the team and arguable the best leader in West Indies Cricket. It was good to see him return to form; scoring the most runs in the 50-over Inter-County tournament which used to help pick this team.
Johnson will want to replicate that form today while Anthony Bramble could open the batting with Chanderpaul. The pair compliments each other with Tage being the glue that holds the batting line-up together with the others like Bramble, Hetmyer, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd and stylish Tevin Imlach all capable of playing shots, bat around him.
Kevin Sinclair, Veerasammy Permaul and Gudakesh Motie, a bit unfortunate not to be in Test squad, could bat.
The bowling could hinge on the lively Nial Smith, Shepherd, Rutherford and the three spinners.
The Windwards, who won the first of their four titles against Guyana in Grenada in 1989, will be strengthened by the return of Johnson Charles and Obed McCoy.
A lot with depend on Charles, Skipper Andre Fletcher, his Vice Captain, Alick Athanaze, Kavem Hodge, Sunil Ambris and Justin Greaves with the bat.
While their fast bowling could be in the hands of McCoy, Shermon Lewis, Preston Mcsween with support from left-arm spinners Hodge and Larry Edwards with Keron Cottoy providing the leg breaks.
The Windwards last won the title when beat Barbados in 2018 in Antigua. When they won their second title in 2002 they were never given the chance to defend it since the next year they were divided into Northern and Southern Windwards.
It has been raining here intermittently during last week and there was a short shower in Port-of-Spain yesterday but the track at the Oval looks good for batting.
Guyana Harpy Eagles: Leon Johnson (Captain), Veerasammy Permaul (Vice Captain), Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Tevin Imlach, Shimron Hetmyer, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Quentin Sampson, Clinton Pestano, Gudakesh Motie, Anthony Bramble, Nial Smith, Kevin Sinclair, Kemol Savoury.
Windward Islands Volcanoes: Andre Fletcher (Captain), Alick Athanaze (Vice Captain), Johann Jeremiah, Kavem Hodge, Keron Cottoy, Sunil Ambris, Ryan John, Larry Edward, Kenneth Dember, Shermon Lewis, Preston Mcsween, Darel Cyrus, Justin Greaves, Tevyn Walcott, Johnson Charles, Obed McCoy.
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