Defending champions of the Cricket West Indies Regional four-day tournament, Guyana Jaguars will today face a team that has become a thorn in their side – the Leeward Islands Hurricanes- in the second round from today.
At the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, where the action will unfold from 10:00hrs, Jaguars, who have won the tournament for the last four seasons, have only won once while Hurricanes have three wins in the six and 11 tries respectively.
In their last showdown at this venue, the teams played to a draw with Jaguars holding on after the Hurricanes enforced the follow-on. In that match, Vishaul Singh stroked 97 not out and there was also a century from Shivnarine Chanderpaul in the second innings.
However, head to head in the last season Jaguars defeated the Hurricanes by 10 wickets with Anthony Bramble, who is set to play his 50th first class match, smashing an unbeaten 196 and Veerasammy Permaul taking 6-32, his 25th five wicket haul.
In 2016-2017 the Hurricanes had the better of the Jaguars, handing them their only two losses in their successful season.
This year, both teams are off to a winning start with the Hurricanes defeating Barbados Pride by 34 runs and Jaguars making light work of the Windward Island Volcanoes in a 125-run victory.
Rajendra Chandrika, who has been in the local setup for a number of years will be critical since he has played most of his cricket with the Guyana team while Jaguars are still missing six of their key players.
Nevertheless, the batting has continued its consistent run with skipper, Leon Johnson, Christopher Barnwell, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Singh and Clinton Pestano scoring half centuries. Pestano was also good with the ball, finishing with six wickets as well as Permaul with six wickets.
The Jaguars’ batsmen will have a lot to deal with as the Hurricanes feature the likes of Jeremiah Louis, West Indies seamers, Alzarri Joseph, who has taken seven wickets so far, and Sheldon Cottrell.
Terrence Warde has troubled Jaguars in the past, taking 6-91 in match figures last season and 5-64 against Barbados in the opening round.
Jaguars have been equally up to the task with the ball as Pestano and Permaul both took six wickets while Keon Joseph, Romario Shepherd and Barnwell have shown promise in the seam department.
With no rain in the forecast, but heavy winds, the seamers can expect a full day’s play.