Keen rivalry expected in final round ahead of holiday break

JOHN’S, Antigua – There is a great incentive for all six teams to finish the second stage of the Digicel 4-Day Championship season on a successful note before the long break for the Christmas/New Year’s holidays, when they suit-up for the seventh round of matches, starting today.

For the first time this season, no team won a match in the previous round which was highlighted by an historic, first-ever tie in the 152-year history of the West Indies first-class championship between Guyana Jaguars and Windward Islands Volcanoes.

Against this backdrop, the teams, especially those closest to the current table leaders and reigning three-time champions Jaguars, will be looking for a big haul of points in a bid to keep the race for the Headley/Weekes Trophy ignited.

Guyana Jaguars vs Leeward Islands Hurricanes

Set back by the tied game, Jaguars will enter this contest with caution. In the last two seasons, the Hurricanes seem to be the only side that has the formula to topple them.

Prior to last weekend’s tied game, Hurricanes were the only side to have avoided defeat against the Jaguars this season – and this followed a sweep of their contests last season – including a stunning victory at the venue for this week’s match which had previously been a fortress for the hosts.

There is cause for optimism for Jaguars and some pessimism for the Hurricanes, as the visitors have lost two of their last three matches this season, so there may be a crisis of confidence on their part.

This may be enough for the Jaguars to exploit and take a giant leap to ensuring they cannot be denied securing their fourth straight title, but the Hurricanes proved in their last match that they can be quite unpredictable coming with 26 runs of victory in what looked a highly improbable, if not impossible chase.

To add a wrinkle to the contest, the match is being played under lights, at the Providence National Stadium which presents its own set of challenges. Squads:

JAGUARS (from) – Leon Johnson (captain), Anthony Bramble, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Keon Joseph, Gudakesh Motie, Keemo Paul, Veerasammy Permaul, Akshaya Persaud, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Vishaul Singh  Unchanged

HURRICANES (from) – Rahkeem Cornwall (captain), Sheeno Berridge, Nkrumah Bonner, Shane Burton, Jahmar Hamilton, Montcin Hodge, Chesney Hughes, Jeremiah Louis, Mervin Matthew, Akeem Saunders, Devon Thomas, Gavin Tonge, Terence Warde   Unchanged

UMPIRES: Shannon Crawford, Patrick Gustard (Jamaica)

MATCH REFEREE: Michael Ragoonath (Trinidad & Tobago)

RESERVE UMPIRE: Imran Moakan

Trinidad & Tobago Red Force vs Barbados Pride at the Brian Lara Cricket Ground in Tarouba, Trinidad

Red Force will be hoping that it will be third time fortunate at this venue, where they face the Pride in the renewal of one of Caribbean sports’ most fierce rivalries.

In their previous two matches at this newly-inaugurated venue, Red Force have had to settle for a draw followed by a heavy defeat.

But they will hope that the same pitch conditions which prevailed in those matches continue, as they typically don’t favour their rivals and this could be the springboard for their first taste of success at this ground.

Red Force enter the match feeling battered however, following their great escape last weekend in Kingston, thanks mainly to the weather, after they conceded the highest total of the season – and they will also want to erase from their collective memories that the previous highest total this season they also conceded – at this venue.

Pride have had an up-and-down season, due to a number of largely inexperienced players forming the core of their side, and they too, may have some apprehensions following the tense finish to their previous match.

When the two sides met in the first leg of the tournament in Bridgetown, the Pride got the edge over the Red Force in a drawn match, but they will be hoping to defy the conditions and grab a timely boost of points and confidence. Squads:

RED FORCE (from) – Denesh Ramdin (captain), Bryan Charles, Akiel Cooper, Ricky Jaipaul, Amir Jangoo, Imran Khan, Ewart Nicholson, Anderson Phillip, Khary Pierre, Roshon Primus, Isaiah Rajah, Jeremy Solozano, Daniel St. Clair, Tion Webster

IN–Cooper, Jaipaul, Phillip, OUT–Yannic Cariah, Sheldon Cottrell, Tion Webster

PRIDE (from): Shamarh Brooks (captain), Anthony Alleyne, Jonathan Carter, Justin Greaves, Keon Harding, Aaron Jones, Shayne Moseley, Mario Rampersaud, Shamar Springer, Kevin Stoute, Jomel Warrican, Hayden Walsh Jr, Kenroy Williams

Unchanged

UMPIRES: Zahid Bassarath, Verdayne Smith (Jamaica)

MATCH REFEREE: Hayden Bruce

RESERVE UMPIRE: Kellman Kowlessar

Windward Islands Volcanoes vs Jamaica Scorpions at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in

Gros-Islet, St. Lucia

Both teams will enter this match high in confidence following their performances in the previous round, after Volcanoes played hard to earn that historic tie, and for once, the batting of the Scorpions clicked so that they could post the highest total of the season.

Both teams will be looking to carry the momentum they gained from their respective performances into this match, as things have been tough this season for the Volcanoes, having lost four of their six matches, but the Scorpions have sprung to life in their last three matches following a slow start to the season.

It was a 10-wicket victory on home soil that sparked this revival of the Scorpions and completing the season sweep of their rivals will be something heading into the break for the Christmas/New Year’s holidays. Squads:

VOLCANOES (from) – Tyrone Theophile (captain), Miles Bascombe, Roland Cato, Kenneth Dember, Kirk Edwards, Donwell Hector, Delorn Johnson, Sherman Lewis, Kyle Mayers, Shane Shillingford, Dennis Smith, Devon Smith, Josh Thomas

IN-Edwards, Thomas, OUT-Audy Alexander, Taryck Gabriel

SCORPIONS (from) – Paul Palmer (captain), Fabian Allen, John Campbell, Assad Fudadin, Derval Green, Trevon Griffith, Damion Jacobs, Brandon King, Christopher Lamont, Reynard Leveridge, Odean Smith, Aldaine Thomas, Oraine Williams

IN–Lamont, OUT– Thomas

UMPIRES: Deighton Butler, Leslie Reifer, Jr (Barbados)

MATCH REFEREE: Patrick Felix

RESERVE UMPIRE: Ericson Degallerie

Around the Web

Comments