The penultimate round of the inaugural Guyana Cricket Board/Cricket Guyana Incorporated three-day franchise league will get cracking today with several matches including the top-of-the-table clash between front runners Lower Corentyne and West Demerara who are in second place.
The two teams will meet this morning at the Tuschen ground, West Demerara, with the knowledge that a win for either team could strengthen their chances of winning the inaugural competition.
Lower Corentyne leads the points standings with 86. 1 points, followed by West Demerara with 64.6 points.
The two teams boast a number of quality players who will be expected to put their hands up when play commences this morning from 9.30am.
Lower Corentyne will once again look to their franchise player Veerasammy Permaul who has spearheaded the bowling department while Jonathan Foo has been the team’s most successful batsman. He has the added distinction of scoring the first century of the competition.
West Demerara will look to Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Raymon Reifer, Akshaya Persaud and Chanderpaul Hemraj. Tagenarine, son of Shivnarine Chanderpaul, is in fine form coming off an impressive knock of 187 against Georgetown in their fifth round encounter at the Lusignan Community Centre ground, an innings which assisted in the team securing an eight wicket win despite a second innings century from Georgetown skipper Christopher Barnwell.
At the Young Warriors ground, Cumberland, Canje, Georgetown will oppose West Berbice in a battle of the lower ranked teams.In fact, Georgetown, with 24.4 points is in last place while West Berbice with 29 points, lie sixth.
It is not certain whether the city team will have the services of its most accomplished batsman Leon Johnson who was recently named in the West Indies team to play Pakistan in the upcoming three-test series in the United Arab Emirates. Should Johnson not play, his absence will severely weaken an already fragile Georgetown batting line up with Barnwell and to a lesser extent Robin Bacchus having to shoulder the batting.
West Berbice will rely on the likes of Keon Joseph, Gudakesh Motie and Shimron Hetmeyer as the team seeks to move up the pecking order at the expense of Georgetown.
The East Coast team will look to former West Indies batsman Rajindra Chandrika, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Steven Sankar and company to maintain their good showing in the competition and possibly score an outright win to add to their 59.3 points.
Essequibo, though, with players like Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Ronsford Beaton, Keemo Paul, Kevon Boodie and Anthony Adams in their lineup has flattered to deceive somewhat and lie fifth with 30.5 points.
With just one round remaining, Essequibo will be going all out to see how much points they can muster from this encounter.
At the Everest Cricket Club ground, Camp Road, East Bank will oppose Upper Corentyne.
East Bank will rely on Vishaul `Cheesy’ Singh, Steven Jacobs, Trevon Griffith, Sherfane Rutherford and Tevin Imlach.
Like Georgetown, Upper Corentyne might be without their franchise player Devendra Bishoo who has been named in the West Indies test team along with Johnson.
East Bank has 25.1 points while Upper Corentyne has 34.8 pints.