Following their innings and 10-run trouncing of the Leewards, table leaders Guyana Jaguars will look to go two up in the 2014/2015 West Indies Cricket Board Professional Cricket League (WICB PCL) Franchise 4-Day Tournament when they face the Windward Islands Volcanoes in round two today at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.
The Jaguars stalked their prey Leewards, thumping them in three days in the first round which ended on Sunday; while today’s opponents Windward Islands suffered a narrow 13-run defeat at the hands of Jamaica in their first round match played at Sabina Park.
Led by the in-form Devendra Bishoo, whose seven-wicket haul steered Guyana to the win over Leewards, the Jaguars boast a top class bowling department with the likes of left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul who finished with 10 wickets in the last encounter between these two sides and that of the part-time off-spinner Narsingh Deonarine.
Fast-bowler Ronsford Beaton, who was menacing with the new ball in the first round will again be looked upon to provide a good start along with all-rounders Chris Barnwell and Raymon Reifer who both picked up wickets in the match against the Leewards.
From a batting perspective the Jaguars will need to convert their good starts into big totals. With the exception of Deonarine who scored an unbeaten 110, only Assad Fudadin failed to reach double figures in the first match but the other players will now have to turn their 30’s and 40’s and half-centuries into three figure scores.
Veteran middle-order batsman Shiv Chanderpaul, skipper Leon Johnson, Barnwell, Fudadin, Rajendra Chandrika, Reifer and wicket-keeper Anthony Bramble all seem to be in top form and will look to dominate a more experienced Windwards bowling unit.
The Volcanoes will hope to erupt here in Guyana with their big guns; Devon Smith at the top of the batting, skipper Liam Sebastian, out-of-favour West Indies batsmen Andre Fletcher and Johnson Charles, Tyrone Theophile, Keddy Lesporis, Romel Currency and Sunil Ambris who all make up a dangerous batting department.
The bowling will be led by the 30-year-old Alston Bobb who wrecked Jamaica in the last match with both bat and ball. Bobb will find support from Sebastian’s effective part-time spin while seasoned Windwards fast-bowlers Mervin Mathew and Nelon Pascal will be a handful once they can extract bounce and pace out of the Providence track.
Guyana Jaguars Assistant Coach Rayon Griffith also confirmed with Stabroek Sports yesterday that no changes to the side have been made, adding that the players are fit and rearing to go.
The WICB on Wednesday had revised and approved the change of playing hours for the second and third round matches for Guyana with matches commencing half-hour earlier, 09:30 hrs.
The Guyana Jaguars are on top of the points table with 17 points, followed by Jamaica Franchise 16, Barbados Pride 8, Trinidad and Tobago Red Force 5, Windward Islands Volcanoes 3 and Leeward Islands 2. Admission to the venue is free.
The Guyana Jaguars squad: Leon Johnson (Captain), Assad Fudadin (Vice-Captain), Rajendra Chandrika, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine, Raymond Reifer, Anthony Bramble (wk), Christopher Barnwell, Veerasammy Permaul, Devendra Bishoo, Ronsford Beaton, Vishal Singh,
Windward Islands squad: Liam Sebastian (Captain), Devon Smith, Johnson Charles, Tyrone Theophile, Keddy Lesporis, Romel Currency, Sunil Ambris, Andre Fletcher, Lindon James, Mervin Mathew, Nelon Pascal, Kenroy Peters and Alston Bobb.