Red Force, Jaguars clash headlines fourth round

Shivnarine Chanderpaul

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – The top-of-the-table clash between Guyana Jaguars and hosts Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, will highlight the fourth round of the Regional Four-Day Championship which bowls off today.

Both teams are unbeaten so far and the day/night clash at the Brian Lara Stadium could prove decisive ahead of the first break of the fast-moving, 10-round season.

Three-time champions Jaguars have won two of their first three matches to be top of the standings on 46.6 points, but faltered in their last outing against Leeward Islands Hurricanes and needed a massive effort on the final day at Warner Park to avoid defeat.

Their key men have been West Indies A left-hander Vishaul Singh who has gathered 258 runs at an average of 46, and left-arm spinner Veersammy Permaul whose 17 wickets have come at 15 runs apiece.

However, their captain Leon Johnson’s lack of form has been worrying, with the left-hander managing only 124 runs from his six trips to the crease.

His opposite number Denesh Ramdin has had no such worries with two hundreds already in an aggregate of 316 runs at an impressive average of 105.

Red Force has been lifted by his form which has seemingly inspired the other batsmen, with Jason Mohammed, Tion Webster and Yannic Cariah all having scored hundreds so far.

Leg-spinner Imran Khan, who tops the bowling aggregates with 18 wickets, will also be key as Red Force attempt to inflict Jaguars with a first defeat.

Hurricanes, the only other unbeaten side in the tournament, will host Jamaica Scorpions at Warner Park and will be hoping to continue the form which has put them third in the table.

Both their batting and bowling have clicked so far this season leaving them as formidable threats, and Scorpions will have their work cut out for them.

While the hosts are unchanged for the encounter, Scorpions have been strengthened by the return of regular captain Nikita Miller, who missed the first three rounds recuperating from surgery last September.

The leading wicket-taker last season with 58 scalps with 461 wickets from 90 first class matches, Hurricanes will be wary of his ability to be a game changer.

In the other game at Arnos Vale, bottom placed Windward Islands Volcanoes welcome Barbados Pride who have struggled and lie fourth in the standings.

While Volcanoes have lost two of three, the big highlight for them has been veteran left-hander Devon Smith who has already reeled off two hundreds to top the batting charts with 337 runs at an average of 84.

Volcanoes, who boast two Barbadians in Kyle Mayers and Kirk Edwards, are unchanged but Pride have gone for former Young West Indies speedster, Keon Harding, to give their bowling attack teeth.

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