PCL: No reason to panic, says Jaguars skipper Johnson

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Guyana Jaguars lost to Barbados Pride in their second match of the 2020 West Indies Four-Day Championship. It was only the second time in six seasons they lost one of their first two matches.

The sixth season of the Regional Four-Day enters its third round from Thursday, with five-time champions Guyana Jaguars fourth on the points table, 4.8 points off the top.

They play their first match at home, against current table toppers, Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, at the National Stadium, Providence.

Jaguars lost to Pride by seven wickets on Sunday at the Kensington Oval, their seventh defeat since the inception of the Professional Cricket League (PCL) in 2014-15.

Captain Leon Johnson during practice on Tuesday at the National Stadium, Providence

Three of those losses came at the back end of last season, where it was a close fight to the finish and now an early loss. However, an upbeat captain Leon Johnson says there is little reason to panic.

“It is unfamiliar territory for us (but) we are still close to the top of the table; the guys are still upbeat we understand in cricket you don’t win all. I don’t think we played the way we wanted to in Barbados and that is something we have to rectify. There is no need for any kind of panic. It is just one game, we didn’t hit our straps and we paid the consequences for that.”

Pacer Nial Smith had match figures of 8-96 on debut against Leeward Islands Hurricanes and took two wickets against Pride, while Kevin Sinclair made a vital 43 against Pride on debut and had an economical spell.

Both talents have impressed the experienced skipper.

“Yeah definitely, they came in and looked like the belonged at this level. Smith bowled with good pace in both games. He was a bit unlucky in Barbados, could have gotten a couple more wickets. Sinclair was good with the ball, he didn’t get the wickets, but I think his economy was very good, he held down an end and he did good with the bat, so it is good signs for those guys moving forward.”

Guyana Jaguars players going through their paces at the National Stadium on Tuesday

The results have not been fruitful for Red Force whenever they toured Guyana but they are practically at full strength and marque player Darren Bravo is in red hot form, coming off a century at home. It certainly sets the tone for an intriguing battle.

“Some good players are in Trinidad squad and if you look at their previous two matches, they put up good runs on the board. Playing against them is never easy, they have a good bowling attack as well, so come Thursday it should be good battle once both teams play to potential.”

Both teams will have practice sessions on Wednesday before they get down to business on Thursday from 09:30h.

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