PCL: Jaguars chance for redemption against Scorpions

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Guyana Jaguars enter the sixth round of the Regional Four-Day Championship in a slightly precarious position regarding title retention endeavours.

Another loss against Jamaica Scorpions would put a serious dent to their quest for a sixth trophy. As such, defeating Scorpions is greatly significant.

It won’t be easy toppling the hosts at the Trelawny Stadium when action commences Thursday from 11:00h.

Scorpions head into the game with back-to-back wins, firstly defeating Jaguars at Providence by seven runs then beating Leeward Islands Hurricanes for their first win of the season Trelawny by five wickets.

Jaguars, on the other hand, have not won since the third round when they defeated Trinidad and Tobago Red Force at Providence; their latest result was a draw in the runs fest with Windward Islands Volcanoes in Grenada.

Leon Johnson returned to form in the last game with 189*

It saw a welcome return to form for captain Leon Johnson, who struck his highest First-Class score (189*), and Christopher Barnwell getting a hundred after a string of fifties and good starts.

Jaguars would hope the duo continue in the same vein of form and the likes of Tagenarine Chanderpaul and Chandrapaul Hemraj, who have gotten starts, go on to the big scores, especially since West Indies tour to England looms in June.

Scorpion’s strength in batting revolves around out-of-favour Test batsman Jermaine Blackwood, Paul Palmer Jr and Nkrumah Bonner; the only three from the team to surpass 300 runs thus far.

Christopher Barnwell leads Jaguars batting this season

With 18 of the 35 wickets being victims to spin in the match with Hurricanes, Jaguars would favour their chances for the obvious reasons of having the ever-consistent Veerasammy Permaul.

The man they call ‘Gunners’ has 40 wickets, the most to date in the entire tournament and has the added boost of fellow Albion spinner, Gudakesh Motie, since Devendra Bishoo was not selected according to the Guyana Cricket Board.

This will be a memorable match for Permaul, if he plays. He will be appearing in his 100th match in the Championship for the visitors, becoming only the sixth player in domestic West Indies First-Class matches to have achieved this landmark.

Good news for Jaguars is that lanky off-spinner Pete Salmon, who took 7-53 to wreck them in the second innings in the last outing, was suspended from bowling due to an illegal action; Salmon’s action was reported in the said match at Providence.

Test batsman Jermaine Blackwood will be a big threat

However, there is still the pace of Nicholson Gordon, who got a five-fer in the same game and left-arm spinner Patrick Harty, who combined have taken 33 wickets this season.

Hardworking pacer Derval Green has been sidelined with injury and Guyanese left-hander Assad Fudadin, whose intimate knowledge of the opposition could be useful, has been omitted because of poor form.

Jaguars are in second place, 23.4 points off of leaders Barbados Pride, while Scorpions are in third on 57.4 points, 3.4 behind Jaguars.

Scorpions: John Campbell (cpt), Alwyn Williams, Marquino Mindley, Nkrumah Bonner, Jermaine Blackwood, Oraine Williams, Dennis Bulli, Denis Smith, Nicholson Gordon, Jamie Merchant, Paul Palmer Jr, Gordon Bryan, Patrick Harty.

Jaguars: Leon Johnson (captain), Vishaul Singh, Anthony Bramble, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Christopher Barnwell, Akshaya Persaud, Raymon Reifer, Kevin Sinclair, Veerasammy Permaul, Gudakesh Motie, Keon Joseph and Nial Smith.

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