PCL: Holder sets sight on Hetmyer’s wicket in blockbuster showdown
By Akeem Greene
“Hetty [ Shimron Hetmyer] I think is one of the most promising youngsters in world cricket and I myself am looking forward to the chance against Hetty because him and I get along really well and Hetty is one who give me a lot of chat in the nets so I am looking forward to the battle knowing that he is playing; hopefully I can nick him off or take him out quite early.”
Those were the words of Barbados Pride all-rounder, Jason Holder, in an interview with News Room Sport on the eve of the mega day/night Four-Day clash between Pride and Guyana Jaguars at the National Stadium, Providence, from 14:00h.
Holder is gearing up for what he predicts to be a keen contest and is eyeing the prized scalp of fellow Test player Hetmyer.
Pride’s pace attack has brought serious heat his season, led by Hetmyer’s former West Indies Under-19 teammate Chemar Holder (34 wickets), Test pacer Kemar Roach (26 wickets) and the budding talent of Keon Harding (30 wickets), along with seasoned campaigner Kevin Stoute (27 wickets).
The addition of the number one ranked Test all-rounder will only bolster what has been the most lethal attack this season and runs into a batting unit which is just about beginning to peak.
It should be a fight of fire with fire since Romario Shepherd and Keemo Paul, two wily customers are back for Jaguars; and both are lethal at this level.
Jaguars have just scored two centuries (one each from Leon Johnson and Christopher Barnwell), but have racked up 15 half-centuries after the seven rounds. Pride on the other hand, have four centuries and 17 fifties.
Given that anything but a win will significantly derail the chances of a sixth straight title, batting once might be the preferred options for Guyana, or making use of early first day moisture.
When Pride last visited, their countryman Raymon Reifer rocked them with 5-20 which sent Pride packing for 76. Reifer also struck a vital 52 then came back to take four wickets in the second innings.
“This is one game everyone in our squad is definitely looking forward to playing…the guys are very focused on the job at hand and we know what we need to do get the best results at the end of this game so everyone is keen and ready to go,” the Barbadose-born related to News Room Sport.
Reifer, who has played one Test match to date, said it is imperative Jaguars rediscover their ability to post challenging first innings totals which pave way for their bowlers to be ultra-attacking given the comfort of solid total.
Both squads boast of eight players with international experience, however, for Pride, the star again, could be the man without any, Kyle Mayers.
Mayers has scored two centuries and four half-centuries on his way to 630 runs at an average of 57.27, while Johnson (464 runs) and Barnwell (424), along with Vishaul Singh (378 runs), who has back-to-back scores in the 90s, have been the top batters for Jaguars this season.
Pride currently head the standings in the Championship on 116 points – 30.2 clear of the Jaguars. The Bajans have been the bridesmaids in each of the five successive title seasons for the Jaguars and this contest could have big implications for them and other teams too.
Jaguars currently hold the edge over Pride in the Professional Cricket League (PCL) era of the Championship, winning half of the 10 matches the two sides have played during the period, but the visitors have the incentive of a season sweep to further motivate them, having won the second round match this season.
JAGUARS (from): Leon Johnson (captain), Christopher Barnwell, Anthony Bramble, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Shimron Hetmyer, Gudakesh Motie, Keemo Paul, Veerasammy Permaul, Akshaya Persaud, Raymon Reifer, Romario Shepherd, Kevin Sinclair, Vishaul Singh.
PRIDE (from): Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Shamarh Brooks, Jonathan Carter, Shane Dowrich, Justin Greaves, Keon Harding, Chemar Holder, Jason Holder, Kyle Mayers, Shayne Moseley, Ashley Nurse, Kemar Roach, Jomel Warrican.