Group B winners the Guyana Jaguars will today’s oppose Group A runners up the Windward Island Volcanoes in the second semi-final of Cricket West Indies (CWI) Regional Super 50 tournament with a spot in the final at stake for the winning team.
Jaguars finished their group matches with six wins and two losses on their way to 26 points but today’s match is a knockout one where the winner will be the team that plays better on the day.
The Jaguars have played consistent cricket and almost all of their players have been among the runs and wickets.
Chandrapaul Hemraj at the top of the order has been consistent and will along with Tagenarine Chanderpaul look to give the team a good start.
Christopher Barnwell, who averages 53, has been the rock the middle order has come to depend on, holding the core with both bat and ball.
Skipper Leon Johnson has narrowly missed on a three figure score falling for 99 and will no doubt be looking to remedy that situation today while the team will be hoping that Shivnarine Chanderpaul is his usual `Mr. Dependable’ self while not soaking up too many balls.
Wicketkeeper/batsman Anthony Bramble is yet to set the tournament ablaze with the bat while valuable runs can come from the bats of Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Paul Wintz, Ricardo Adams and Ramaal Lewis, whoever is in the XI on the day.
With the ball, Rutherford, Shepherd, Wintz and Adams have done well with Barnwell lending excellent support but the veteran Veerasammy Permaul will be relied on to do more, having struck only four times in six matches.
The Guyana Jaguars will be sorely missing the quartet of exciting, young all-rounder Keemo Paul, dashing West Indies opening batsman and former West Indies U19 skipper Shimron Hetmyer, West Indies leg spinner Devendra Bishoo and the talented fast bowling all-rounder Raymon Reifer who has turned out to be such a key player in the side who are on West Indies Senior A team duties.
However, as Coach Esuan Crandon pointed out, their absence gives replacements an opportunity to put their hands up and be counted.
The Volcanoes are red hot heading into the semis qualifying ahead of Trinidad and Tobago who had the same 22 points but lost out because of an inferior run rate.
Openers Andre Fletcher and Devon Smith have carried the bulk of the Volcanoes’ batting with 283 and 263 runs to their name respectively with Fletcher scoring the only 100 for the side.
Johnson Charles is a danger man who can explode at any time while Kirk Edwards is capable with the bat.
A lot will also rest on the shoulders of Kyle Mayers and Delorn Johnson in the lower order as batsmen who can score quite quickly. Veteran spinner, Shane Shillingford, has been his usual effective self with the ball and is by far the best bowler for the Volcanoes with 21 wickets in the tournament already.
He averages just 12.62 and boasts an economy rate of 3.34 while
Kaveem Hodge and Mayers have supported well with 12 wickets each.
Both teams look settled and an exciting match at the Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua from 14:00h is envisaged.