ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Runaway leaders and reigning three-time champions Guyana Jaguars will be looking to start the New Year and the final leg of the race towards the Headley/Weekes Trophy, when the Digicel 4-Day Championship resumes on Thursday following the break for the end-of-year holidays.
All three matches on the schedule for the eighth round of matches hold significance for the teams, as the Jaguars look to continue their unbeaten run for the season.
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Jaguars were one of the three teams that collected wins in the previous round and this has allowed them to open up a sizeable, if not insurmountable lead over the rest of the teams in the Championship.
The aim for them in the final three matches will be to consolidate their position at the top of the table with solid, if not spectacular play which will let them ride the crest of the wave to the title.
Jamaica Scorpions vs Guyana Jaguars at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica
This is the feature match of this round and the return of key personnel from Windies duties in New Zealand will add some spice to the attraction.
Jaguars landed a comprehensive victory when the two sides met in the first round of the season last October and will be aiming to complete the season sweep.
Scorpions however, will fancy their chances with the return of inspirational leader and champion left-arm spinner Nikita Miller from Windies One-day International duty, along with Jermaine Blackwood from Windies Test duty and Windies “A” Team batsman Andre McCarthy from injury to boost their line-up.
Windies Test left-handed all-rounder Raymon Reifer adds to Jaguars’ depth chart, along with fast bowler Keon Joseph, who was a late withdrawal from the previous match with an injury.
Jaguars have lost none of their previous seven contests against Scorpions in the Professional Cricket League era and they will be hoping that trend continues over the next four days.
SCORPIONS (from) – Nikita Miller (captain), Fabian Allen, Jermaine Blackwood, John Campbell, Assad Fudadin, Derval Green, Damion Jacobs, Brandon King, Christopher Lamont, Andre McCarthy, Reynard Leveridge, Paul Palmer, Aldaine Thomas
IN–Blackwood, McCarthy, Miller, OUT–Trevon Griffith, Odean Smith, Oraine Williams
JAGUARS (from) – Leon Johnson (captain), Anthony Bramble, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Keon Joseph, Gudakesh Motie, Keemo Paul, Veerasammy Permaul, Akshaya Persaud, Raymon Reifer, Romario Shepherd, Vishaul Singh
IN–Joseph, Reifer, OUT–Antony Adams, Sherfane Rutherford
UMPIRES: Jacqueline Williams, Johnathan Blades (Barbados)
MATCH REFEREE: Denovan Hayles
RESERVE UMPIRE: Christopher Wright
Barbados Pride vs Windward Islands Volcanoes at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados
Buoyed by encouraging results in their two previous matches, Pride and Volcanoes hope they can regain the momentum and finish the season strongly, if not successfully.
Pride have clawed their way into second place in the standings behind Jaguars thanks to a confluence of results including a draw and a victory in their last two encounters. At the same time, Volcanoes played to an historic tie against Jaguars and earned their first victory of the season.
These two sides have had a roller-coaster season and will like to catch afire late in the season for different reasons.
Pride still hold out hope that they could still sneak through to grab the title if other results fall their way and will be looking to complete the season sweep, and Volcanoes will look to continue giving proof of what could have been if their preparations for the season had not been hampered by the hurricane that ravaged their base last year in Dominica.
Pride has been boosted by the return of the Windies duo of batsman Roston Chase and fast bowler Kemar Roach, but Volcanoes have not been so blessed, although batsman Kavem Hodge returns from injury and will be hoping to pick up from the solid start he made to the season.
Pride will have their hands full trying to put a lid on veteran Volcanoes left-handed opener Devon Smith. He has been the toast of the batsmen this season and requires a further 196 to become the leading single season scorer in the history of the Windies first-class championship.
The match also marks the 100th Windies first-class championship appearance for Volcanoes’ champion off-spinner Shane Shillingford. He also needs just four wickets to reach the 450-mark.
PRIDE (from): Shamarh Brooks (captain), Anthony Alleyne, Jonathan Carter, Roston Chase, Justin Greaves, Shayne Moseley, Kemar Roach, Shamar Springer, Kevin Stoute, Tevyn Walcott, Hayden Walsh Jr, Jomel Warrican, Kenroy Williams
IN–Chase, Roach, Walcott, OUT–Keon Harding, Aaron Jones, Mario Rampersaud
VOLCANOES (from) – Tyrone Theophile (captain), Miles Bascombe, Roland Cato, Larry Edward, Kirk Edwards, Kavem Hodge, Delorn Johnson, Shermon Lewis, Kyle Mayers, Shane Shillingford, Denis Smith, Devon Smith, Josh Thomas
IN–Hodge, Edward, OUT– Kenneth Dember, Donwell Hector
UMPIRES: Leslie Reifer Jr, Christopher Taylor (Jamaica)
MATCH REFEREE: Reon King (Guyana)
RESERVE UMPIRE: Troy Tudor
Trinidad & Tobago Red Force vs Leeward Islands Hurricanes at Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain, Trinidad
Both Red Force and Hurricanes started the season with promising, but they have failed to find the results to keep them in contention for the title.
A mix of results in the second stage of the season just before the holiday break has taken a toll on their confidence and left them searching for answers.
The return of Kyle Hope from Windies duty, Yannic Cariah from injury and the introduction of Steven Katwaroo for the first time this season could help turn things around for Red Force.
Hurricanes batting has been boosted with return of Kieran Powell from Windies duty and Keacy Carty from injury, and the importation of Barbadian opener Rashidi Boucher.
Though the loss of Rahkeem Cornwall and veteran fast bowler Gavin Tonge will weaken the bowling, the addition of another Barbadian, off-spinner Chaim Holder, could help them to overcome.
Red Force will be looking to complete the season sweep, but three times the teams have met in Trinidad has produced a win for each and a no-result last year.
RED FORCE (from): Denesh Ramdin (captain), Yannic Cariah, Bryan Charles, Kyle Hope, Amir Jangoo, Steven Katwaroo, Imran Khan, Ewart Nicholson, Anderson Philip, Khary Pierre, Jeremy Solozano, Daniel St. Clair, Tion Webster
IN–Cariah, Hope, Katwaroo, Webster, OUT–Akiel Cooper, Ricky Jaipaul, Roshon Primus, Isaiah Rajah,
HURRICANES (from) – Kieran Powell (captain), Sheeno Berridge, Rashidi Boucher, Shane Burton, Jason Campbell, Keacy Carty, Jahmar Hamilton, Chaim Holder, Montcin Hodge, Jeremiah Louis, Mervyn Matthew, Akeem Saunders, Devon Thomas
IN–Boucher, Campbell, Carty, Holder, Powell, OUT–Nkrumah Bonner, Rahkeem Cornwall, Chesney Hughes, Gavin Tonge, Terence Warde
UMPIRES: Zahid Bassarath, Carl Tuckett (Nevis)
MATCH REFEREE: Michael Ragoonath
RESERVE UMPIRE: Kellman Kowlessar