Pride seeking win
Barbados to face Trinidad in sixth round of four-day tournament
ST JOHN’S, Antigua –– Guyana Jaguars and Barbados Pride, the two front-running sides in the WICB Professional Cricket League Regional Four-Day Tournament, will be looking to forge further ahead when the sixth round of matches start tomorrow.
With the season now halfway complete, the teams are in the return leg of the tournament and some will be looking to gain revenge on their opponents from the first leg of matches.
Following their three-day demolition of the underperforming Leeward Islands Hurricanes, The Barbados Pride will be looking to collect their fourth straight victory and prove what a difference a format makes when they host long-standing arch-rivals Trinidad & Tobago Red Force at Kensington Oval tomorrow.
Pride and Red Force were truly last season’s top two sides –– the home team lifted the NAGICO Super50 title and followed up with the Regional Four-Day crown, while T&T finished in the runners-up spot in both competitions.
This season however, the Pride struggled in the NAGICO Super50 which the full-strength Red Force won –– and it has been vice versa in the four-day tourney with the embattled visitors finding the going tough as their hosts have recovered strongly from weather setbacks early in the season.
Current form and recent history are also on the side of the Pride. They seemed destined to win their tournament opener against the Red Force, but the weather intervened and prevented them from clinching a sixth straight victory over them.
Wicketkeeper batsman Shane Dowrich scored a century against the Hurricanes and will be looking to continue in similar vein. West Indies batsman Kirk Edwards will also be hoping to reverse a recent slump in form with a sizable innings. Left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican had an excellent match against the Leewards and should pose problems for the visitors with his accuracy.
Much attention will also be focused on explosive opening batsman Evin Lewis, who many feel is not far from a West Indies call-up, especially in the shorter formats of the game. Trinidad and Tobago’s bowling will be led by West Indies speedster Shannon Gabriel.
At North Sound, Antigua, bottom-placed Leeward Islands Hurricanes will be hoping that home advantage will breed success for the first time this season, when they face chart-toppers Guyana Jaguars at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.
This is definitely the tale of two extremes: The Hurricanes have failed to win a match this season, sinking to a heavy defeat against the Pride on the road in the previous round, when the Jaguars made a huge statement, gaining a significant boost of confidence with a solid victory over the Jamaica Franchise on the road.
So current form and recent history strongly favour the visitors, as the Jaguars, whose 13-member squad is unchanged, have won five of their previous ten matches including in the first round of this season’s tournament.
The Hurricanes, whose side is also unchanged, can take comfort in the knowledge that the last time the two teams met at this venue early last year, they landed a five-wicket knockout punch to the Jaguars.
Meanwhile in Kingstown, St Vincent judging on recent results, the most competitive contest of the round could emerge, when the Windward Islands Volcanoes meet the Jamaica Franchise at the Arnos Vale Sports Complex.
Volcanoes breathed life into their season with a resounding victory over the Red Force in the previous round, at the same time that the Jamaican unit stumbled when they were dominated by the Jaguars.
Both teams need all the points they could acquire to keep the two front-running sides within reach, so expect a keen affair.
This will be the first time the two sides will meet at Arnos Vale in 15 years, but recent history favours the visitors, since they have won nine of the 20 matches in the same period, including the first round encounter this season on home soil.
Windwards are unchanged, but the visitors are the only side this round to make an adjustment, bringing Brandon King in to replace Shacaya Thomas.
BARBADOS PRIDE (from): Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Tino Best, Carlos Brathwaite, Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Kyle Corbin, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Kirk Edwards, Shai Hope, Ashley Nurse, Kevin Stoute, Jomel Warrican
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO RED FORCE (from): Jason Mohammed (captain), Yannic Cariah, Derone Davis, Shannon Gabriel, Akeal Hosein, Steven Katwaroo, Imran Khan, Evin Lewis, Kjorn Ottley, Yannick Ottley, Marlon Richards, Jeremy Solozano, Daniel St. Clair