Top-of-the table Jamaica and bottom of the points’ standings Guyana, clash today at the Providence National Stadium in the sixth round of the West Indies Cricket Board sponsored regional four-day tournament.
But although the Jamaicans, on 42 points, will be taking on a team which has lost all four of its matches outright they are not going to be complacent despite getting the better of Guyana in their previous four outings.
Coach of the team, Junior Bennett, told Stabroek Sport in an invited comment yesterday said” “We have gotten a great start to our defense campaign this year and we will be looking to build on that.
“Having said that, we would not be complacent against the Guyanese even though they’re having a poor run so far in the tournament.”
Bennett said he was not taking anything for granted and was looking for a good all round team performance.
“We have a good all round team, thus we will be looking to have a good all round game and once we play together we can and will be competitive.
“To this effect, I am expecting my players in the calibre of Wavell Hinds, Xavier Marshall, Donovan Pagon and Brenton Parchment to carry on and build on the good starts they have been getting so far,” said Bennett.
While Bennett was optimistic about his team’s chances, newly-appointed Guyana coach Rabindranauth Seeram was more appreciative of the youthfulness of his side which has an average age of 22.
“At the moment, we are trying to instill a bit more discipline into them, especially with their batting.
“They are a fairly young side with an average age of 22 and whilst they did acknowledge that a lack of preparation was a big problem, we still need to see the senior players pulling their weight and bringing the junior ones through in the process.”
Seeram, who holds a level two certificate in coaching, was chosen to replace former coach Albert Smith, who was sacked by the Guyana Cricket Board following the team’s return from the four away matches which earned them a mere four points.
Seeram feels that the opportunity to serve Guyana’s cricket was an honour.
“It is always an honour to coach any national team in your country and I am looking forward to working with the team for a little more success. We all know that Guyana does not perform well away from home and we are looking to bounce back, starting with this game.
“We do have a bunch of talented young players who need more application to work with in order to turn around the results. Most of the guys have been getting starts but not carrying on and I will be working to correct that,” said Seeram. Guyana will be looking to their three senior players in Travis Dowlin, Leon Johnson and Narsingh Deonarine, who have represented the West Indies, to come good with the bat.
Shemroy Barrington, Christopher Barnwell, Homchand Pooran and Royston Crandon are the other main batsmen although Pooran is yet to play a game this year.
Esaun Crandon, Brendon Bess and Barnwell will take care of the new ball duties with spinners Devendra Bishoo, Zaheer Mohammed and Steven Jacobs adding variety to the attack.
The Jamaicans, looking to continue their winning ways, will rely on captain Tamar Lambert, former West Indies opener Hinds, Parchment, Marshall, Pagon, Danza Hyatt, David Bernard Jnr., and wicketkeeper Keith Hibbert in what is obviously a strong batting line-up. Their bowling has also been competent, led by Andrew Richardson, with support from Odean Browne, Jason Dawes, Gavin Wallace and Nikita Miller.
Teams for today’s encounter which begins at 10am are:
Guyana (from): Travis Dowlin, Shemroy Barrington, Christopher Barnwell, Homchand Pooran, Leon Johnson, Narsingh Deonarine, Royston Crandon, Darwin Christian, Steven Jacobs, Devendra Bishoo, Esaun Crandon, Zaheer Mohammed and Brandon Bess.
Jamaica (from): Tamar Lambert, Brenton Parchment, Xavier Marshall, Danza Hyatt, Donovan Pagon, Wavell Hinds, David Bernard Jnr., Keith Hibbert, Nikita Miller, Odean Browne, Gavin Wallace, Andrew Richardson and Jason Dawes.