PCL: Red Force in Jaguars’ path to fifth title

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By Akeem Greene

The fifth season of Cricket West Indies Professional Cricket League (PCL) Regional Four-day championship has been the most riveting in terms of the battle for the coveted title.

Defending champions Guyana Jaguars, a usual run-away leader, are pressed to win their final match against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force to safeguard a fifth consecutive title.

Anthony Bramble

They enter their 10th and final round with a 25.2 lead over Leeward Hurricanes, who still have two rounds to play.  Even though it is possible to still cop the title without winning this final match, it is a chance they will not want to take.

Leading runscorer for the team this season, Anthony Bramble, spoke to News Room Sport exclusively on Tuesday. He stated the players view the day/night clash, which starts on Thursday at the National Stadium, Providence, as a must-win.

“It is an important game and all the guys know it is a must-win for us…we don’t want to leave it for anyone to do the job for us, so we must take it on our own hands and try to win this game,” wicketkeeper/batsman Bramble pointed out.

Opener Chandrapaul Hemraj gets adventurous during Tuesday’s net session with the pink ball at the National Stadium, Providence

Both teams are coming off victories in their previous match, with the Red Force whipping the Windward Islands Volcanoes by 190 runs and the Jaguars pulling off a seven-wicket win over Barbados Pride.

One of Red Force’s three victories this season was when they hosted Jaguars in February, and Bramble said their performance this season has been a real eye-opener into some of their flaws.

“We lost three games this season and I think those are stuff we can’t let occur in this match. We know the way Trinidad plays their cricket and we have to lead this game throughout.”

The bowling has been a massive standout for the reigning four-time champions, securing a combined 49 bowling points, which have kept them afloat.

Sherfane Rutherford will be hungry for runs before he heads off to the Indian Premier League

Though, talent is stacked in the batting, only four hundreds have been scored by the team this season, two of which have come from Bramble.

“I think it has been bad shot selection this season. Apart from the first two games this season where we scored 500 and 450-odd we did not get over the 300-mark since. I think if we get over the 300-mark this game, it would be ideal,” the right-handed batsman highlighted.

He felt it is necessary the seasoned players rise to the occasion and play significant roles to foster an unprecedented achievement.

The Berbician, who has 498 runs in the nine matches, wants a gloried end to his season by scoring over 600 runs to enhance his chances for a spot at the international level. Match time is 14:00h.

JAGUARS – Leon Johnson (captain), Christopher Barnwell, Anthony Bramble, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Ramaal Lewis, Gudakesh Motie, Veerasammy Permaul, Akshaya Persaud, Raymon Reifer, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Vishaul Singh

RED FORCE – Denesh Ramdin (captain), Yannic Cariah, Bryan Charles, Joshua Da Silva, Imran Khan, Jason Mohammed, Khary Pierre, Jeremy Solozano, Odean Smith, Anderson Phillip, Marlon Richards, Daniel St. Clair, Tion Webster

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