With the Leeward Islands Hurricanes trailing table leaders Guyana Jaguars by 36.6 points in the Cricket West Indies Regional four-day championships, a ‘focused’ Hurricanes is expected to take the fight to the hosts when the clash in the fifth round at Providence Stadium today.
“Our game plan is the same. History shows we are the only ones to really challenge Guyana and even beat Guyana so we haven’t seen a reason why we should change our game plan,” said Hurricanes coach Winston Benjamin.
“It is just [that] we need to be a little bit more focused, our game plan will always remain the same, we are going be positive, we are going to look to play attractive cricket, get the ball in the right areas in the field but our shortcomings are more of to focus more,” he added.
Despite losing to the Jaguars early on, Benjamin said that he believes his side has been the only team to challenge and succeed against Jaguars who have secured the title for the last four years and remain undefeated so far this season.
But coming off a 245-run victory over Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, Benjamin explained the team is in high spirits and will bring the fight to the opposition.
“It’s a good somber mood in the camp. Coming off a win against Trinidad, the boys are in good spirits, [we are] looking forward to Guyana.
“Guyana at the top of the table right now, unbeaten so far for the season but we are going to have to show up here Thursday and make a real fight of it,” Benjamin stated.
According to the Head Coach, the conditions in Guyana are similar to what they have played on so far, adding that they have been preparing well for this.
“The conditions… so far all the wickets we played on so far is the same, Barbados slow without grass, Antigua and Trinidad slow with some grass and here we all know will be slow with some grass,” the former West Indies test player said.
But the Hurricanes will have to make some adjustments with Alzarri Joseph, Devon Thomas and Jamar Hamilton selected for the West Indies President’s XI which will allow for Ras Powell, Orlando Peters and Jason Peters to come into the side.
Looking at the prospects of the match, Benjamin opined that the team with the most patience coupled with bowling the ball in the right areas may come out victorious.
Benjamin backed his side to do well with Rahkeem Cornwall, who he titles as “undoubtedly the best off-spinner in the Caribbean,” leading the bowling attack. Cornwall has taken 12 wickets so far with only Joseph taking more than him for the Hurricanes.
Jeremiah Louis, Sheno Berridge Nelson Bolan and Damion Jacobs are the supporting cast.
In the batting department, Benjamin pointed out that the captain, Kieran Powell, who has not been in the best form will want to go out there and lead from the front while Akeem Saunders has shown his ability along with Keacy Carty and Montcin Hodge who both have centuries under their belt this season.
The first ball is expected to bowl off from 09.30 hrs.