CRUCIAL BATTLES AS RETURN LEG OF #D4DAY BEGINS

Jaguars look to extend lead against Volcanoes; Hurricanes, Pride eye consistency; Scorpions, Red Force aim to overcome absent key players

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Runaway leaders and reigning three-time champions Guyana Jaguars will be looking to start their push towards a fourth straight title, when the return leg of the Digicel 4-Day Championship opens today.

All three matches on the schedule for the sixth round of matches hold significance for the teams, as the Jaguars look to continue their unbeaten run for the season.

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Guyana Jaguars vs Windward Islands Volcanoes at the Guyana National Stadium in Providence, Guyana

No one has been able to stop the Jaguars this season and the win-less Volcanoes are not expected to buck the trend.

The Jags will be looking to put away their opponents with the same aplomb that they did in the first leg of the season, and the Volcanoes will be hoping that they can spring an upset and deliver their maiden victory of the season.

Jaguars have won all three of the contests between the two sides in the Professional Cricket League era (2014-15 onwards) at the venue for this weekend’s match and the tide is expected to continue flow in that direction.

Squads:

JAGUARS (from): Leon Johnson (captain), Anthony Bramble, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Keon Joseph, Gudakesh Motie, Keemo Paul, Veerasammy Permaul, Akshaya Persaud, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Vishaul Singh
Unchanged

VOLCANOES (from) – Tyrone Theophile (captain), Audy Alexander, Miles Bascombe, Roland Cato, Kenneth Dember, Tarryck Gabriel, Donwell Hector, Delorn Johnson, Sherman Lewis, Kyle Mayers, Shane Shillingford, Dennis Smith, Devon Smith
Unchanged

UMPIRES: Shannon Crawford, Christopher Taylor (Jamaica)
MATCH REFEREE: Colin Stuart
RESERVE UMPIRE: Ryan Banwarie

Leeward Islands Hurricanes vs Barbados Pride at Warner Park in Basseterre, St. Kitts

Inconsistent is the word that would best describe how things have unfolded for Hurricanes and Pride since their epic second-round match at Kensington Oval.

Hurricanes blew Pride away by an innings and four runs inside two days in that match – a result that prompted hopes of a return to the glory days for the winners, while providing a sharp wake-up call for the losers.

Hurricanes followed up with another strong performance that allowed them to be the only side that avoided losing to the Jaguars and even earned the lion’s share of the points against them – but then suffered two deflating losses against Jamaica Scorpions and Trinidad & Tobago Red Force.

Pride rebounded from that defeat with a draw against Scorpions and victory over the Volcanoes – but last weekend’s loss against the Jaguars may have been a dagger to their self-confidence.

Both teams will be looking to turn their mourning into rejoicing – but Pride will be under pressure with the result of last month’s contest uppermost in their minds and the fight they endured against the same opponents in this corresponding fixture last season at the same venue.

Squads:

HURRICANES (from) ­– Rahkeem Cornwall (captain), Sheeno Berridge, Nkrumah Bonner, Shane Burton, Jahmar Hamilton, Montcin Hodge, Chesney Hughes, Jeremiah Louis, Mervin Matthew, Akeem Saunders, Devon Thomas, Gavin Tonge, Terence Warde
IN–Bonner, Matthew, OUT–Elvin Berridge, Stanny Simon

PRIDE (from): Shamarh Brooks (captain), Anthony Alleyne, Jonathan Carter, Justin Greaves, Keon Harding, Aaron Jones, Shayne Moseley, Mario Rampersaud, Shamar Springer, Kevin Stoute, Jomel Warrican, Hayden Walsh Jr, Kenroy Williams
IN–Walsh, OUT–Ashley Nurse

UMPIRES: Carl Tuckett, Patrick Gustard (Jamaica)
MATCH REFEREE: Stewart Rawlins
RESERVE UMPIRE: Bernard Joseph

Jamaica Scorpions vs Trinidad & Tobago Red Force at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica

As the two closest sides to the Jaguars, this will be the key battle of the round to see if they can keep up with the front-runners.

Both Scorpions and Red Force enter the contest with wind behind their sails, following convincing wins in the previous round of matches. Fortune however, has favoured Red Force and left Scorpions with a bitter-sweet taste in their mouths.

Scorpions regular captain and champion left-arm spinner Nikita Miller has been the catalyst for their surge in the last two rounds of matches. He however, departs this week for New Zealand, where he will be part of the Windies One-day International squad.

In just two matches since he returned to the squad following a medical procedure during the off-season, Miller has taken an extraordinary 23 wickets at 8.73 runs apiece. His uncomplicated lower-order batting also came to the rescue in the two matches to give the Scorpions valuable leads over their opponents.

Along with his leadership, it will be a big price to pay for progress – so this along with the Red Force’s success at this venue in the PCL era, if not last year, will be reason to give the Scorpions pause, as they consider the prospects for this match.

Not that Red Force has been unscathed, as opener Kyle Hope and fellow batsman Jason Mohammed will be on the same flight to New Zealand with Miller, and this too, may upset the balance of power in terms of their batting.

Squads:

SCORPIONS (from) – Paul Palmer (captain), Fabian Allen, John Campbell, Assad Fudadin, Derval Green, Trevon Griffith, Damion Jacobs, Brandon King, Reynard Leveridge, Odean Smith, Aldaine Thomas, Oshane Thomas, Oraine Williams
IN–Smith, Thomas, Williams, OUT–Garth Garvey, Nikita Miller, Steven Taylor

RED FORCE (from) – Denesh Ramdin (captain), Yannic Cariah, Bryan Charles, Sheldon Cottrell, Amir Jangoo, Imran Khan, Ewart Nicholson, Khary Pierre, Roshon Primus, Isaiah Rajah, Jeremy Solozano, Daniel St. Clair, Tion Webster
IN–Nicholson, Rajah, OUT–Kyle Hope, Jason Mohammed

UMPIRES: Jacqueline Williams, Gregory Brathwaite (Barbados)
MATCH REFEREE: Denovan Hayles
RESERVE UMPIRE: Rushane Samuels

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