PCL: Jaguars and Red Force to clash in battle of batting
By Akeem Greene
The crème de la crème of the region’s batsmen will be on show as five-time defending champions, Guyana Jaguars, and current table toppers, Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, battle at the National Stadium, Providence, on Thursday from 09:30h.
The round-three blockbuster clash in the 2020 West Indies Four-Day Championship should be a cracker, once both sides play to potential.
Even though both sides are not fielding all their active West Indies players for various reasons, the current players can without doubt hold their own.
Though Jaguars are currently in fourth, it’s just 4.8 points off the top, and captain Leon Johnson told News Room Sport Tuesday, there is no reason to panic, given it is early in the season.
The Jaguars bowling department continues to be impressive, but the batting, though filled with immense talent, has not fulfilled its true potential. Four centuries in the past 12 matches have been scored by a batting line-up boasting five players with international experience in the top seven.
Truth be told, they have done the yards in ‘digging in’, but lacked the needed conversion. Twenty-six half-centuries were scored in the aforementioned period.
Described as a master in the art of batting by many, West Indies great and current Manager and Assistant Coach of the Guyana Jaguars, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, believes batsmen need to put a greater price on their wicket and concentrate even harder whenever they get a start.
“We talk about that; it is one of our plans, someone carrying on to get big scores and big hundreds. We got starts, couple of fifties in Barbados and a few in Antigua. But I think we are playing a little loose, they need to dig in and focus. Start back your innings and then go as long as you can for big scores.”
He added, “You want guys to be a little more responsible when they are batting. The last match we had too many soft dismissals and hopefully we can eliminate that and go into this match and make people work hard. If you get out, you get out off a good ball.”
Having lost to Barbados Pride in round two, Jaguars will be hoping to turn things around in the campaign for a sixth straight title.
“They [Trinidad and Tobago Red Force] are playing well right now, they had a good couple of games so far and hopefully if things go well for us we can do well in this game.”
Strong Red Force Batting
Trinidad and Tobago Red Force captain Darren Bravo and rising star Joshua DaSilva feel a good batting performance is key against their rivals.
Bravo has 199 runs thus far, while DaSilva is just six runs behind, having batted on two occasions each.
In fact, Red Force batsmen have churned out four centuries and five half-centuries in those two innings.
“So far so good; for me it is just a matter of taking responsibility and trying to perform for my team and I have been doing that since Super50,” Bravo told News Room Sport in an exclusive interview.
The elegant left-hander added, “It is important we just control what we can and play all facets of the game to the best of our abilities. The last couple of games, our fielding has let us down in some instances and hopefully we can get it right in this particular game and hopefully the batters who get starts can carry on for long periods. For me it will be about setting up a good first innings total and see how we can take it from there.”
In 10 Professional Cricket League (PCL) matches between these two sides, Red Force have only defeated Jaguars once, having a draw and eight heavy defeats. Since the inception of the PCL, Red Force have never beaten Jaguars at Providence, usually it is their batting which folds.
DaSilva said: “We have a lot of confidence in our top order right now, we scored 400 plus then 500 plus, so we are riding the wave and we are just happy with each other’s performances.”
“Coming to Guyana we never take anything for granted knowing that they know their conditions well. So just going to play the cricket that we know and try to give our best performance. We did not bat very well here last year so we just getting another big score and hopefully we can two to one them.”
Red Force had a second session at Providence Wednesday afternoon and the players seemed extremely jubilant and confident of toppling the Four-Day powerhouses.
Guyana Jaguars Squad: Leon Johnson (captain), Vishaul Singh, Anthony Bramble, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Christopher Barnwell, Tevin Imlach, Ronaldo Alimohamed, Kevin Sinclair, Veerasammy Permaul, Devendra Bishoo, Keon Joseph and Nial Smith.
Trinidad and Tobago Red Force squad: Darren Bravo (Captain), Yannic Cariah, Bryan Charles, Joshua Da Silva, Terrance Hinds, Akeal Hosein, Jason Mohammed, Uthman Muhammed, Kissoondat Magram, Yannick Ottley, Keagan Simmons, Jeremy Solozano and Odean Smith.