PCL: Guyana Jaguars watching Hurricanes closely from Thursday

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There is still more than just passing interest with the final two matches in the West Indies Championship, starting tomorrow (Thursday) in Antigua and Trinidad.

With the Guyana Jaguars having finished their schedule of matches for the season last round and accumulated 154.2 points – they have practically claimed the Headley/Weekes Trophy, symbol of West Indies first-class supremacy, for a fifth straight season.

The Jags are 23 points clear of Leeward Islands Hurricanes, their nearest rivals, who still have a mathematical chance of clinching the title, as they prepare to face a star-studded Barbados Pride at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.

At the same time – Trinidad and Tobago Red Force and Jamaica Scorpions will be aiming to finish the season strongly when they meet at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy.

The Hurricanes however, face the highly improbable, if not impossible task of gaining the absolute maximum 24 points against the Pride to be able to surpass the Jaguars to be able to take home their fifth West Indies first-class title for the first time since they shared with the Jags 21 years ago.

It would take miraculously spectacular batting and bowling from the Hurricanes to gain all the points left on the table and pip the Jaguars for the title by just – one point.

And, the Hurricanes should not be ruled out, as they have the batting and bowling to get the job done, plus they are playing their best in almost a decade, are on familiar turf and beat the Pride in their first match at the start of the season las December, so they would relish a season sweep.

Squads:

HURRICANES (from) ­– Rahkeem Cornwall (captain), Sheno Berridge, Nelson Bolan, Keacy Carty, Jahmar Hamilton, Montcin Hodge, Damion Jacobs, Alzarri Joseph, Kian Pemberton, Jaison Peters, Akeem Saunders, Devon Thomas, Terance Warde

PRIDE (from) – Shamarh Brooks (captain), Kraigg Brathwaite, Jonathan Carter, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Keon Harding, Chaim Holder, Chemar Holder, Marquino Mindley, Shayne Moseley, Shamar Springer, Tevyn Walcott

UMPIRES  Nigel Duguid (Guyana), Verdayne Smith (Jamaica)

MATCH REFEREE – Vanroy Burnes

RESERVE UMPIRE – Bernard Joseph

Although already well out of the running, bragging rights will be on the line in a return contest between Jamaica Scorpions and Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, as just two points separate them.

Both have played inconsistently this season, leaving them occupying the bottom two slots on the league table, so they will each look to play earnestly to avoid “the wooden spoon”.

For Red Force, a clean sweep of this season’s matches will be their motivation, and for Scorpions, proving there is life after champion left-arm spinner Nikita Miller announced his retirement from this format earlier in the week will be key, along with avoiding the sweep and the bottom slot which they currently occupy.

Squads:

RED FORCE (from) – Denesh Ramdin (captain), Yannic Cariah, Bryan Charles, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Kyle Hope, Imran Khan, Jason Mohammed, Khary Pierre, Jeremy Solozano, Odean Smith, Anderson Phillip, Marlon Richards, Lendl Simmons, Daniel St. Clair

SCORPIONS (from) – Paul Palmer (captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Dennis Bulli, John Campbell, Akim Fraser, Assad Fudadin, Garth Garvey, Nicholson Gordon, Derval Green, Brandon King, Kennar Lewis, Jermaine Levy

UMPIRES  Zahid Bassarath, Gregory Brathwaite (Barbados)

MATCH REFEREE – Michael Ragoonath

RESERVE UMPIRE – Kashif Sandy

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