ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Only two rounds are left to determine the winner of the 2018-19 West Indies Championship, so there will be huge interest in the outcome of this week’s ninth round of matches which opens today in Guyana, Kingston and St. Vincent.

Defeats for front-runners Guyana Jaguars in three of their last four matches has meant that the title race has gotten a bit tighter, but the four-time defending champions are still heavily favoured to walk away with the Headley/Weekes Trophy, symbol of supremacy in the West Indies first-class game.

• For “live” scores the matches, visit the Match Centre on the Cricket West Indies website
and click the “DOMESTIC” tab: http://cricketwestindies.org/index.php/match-centre/

• Webcasts of matches are available on the Windies YouTube Channel, https://bit.ly/2E2nEbN,
and you can subscribe to receive pre-play alerts

The Jags top the table with 117.2 points – 23.8 points clear of their nearest rivals, Leeward Islands Hurricanes, and third-placed Barbados Pride a further 2.8 points behind.

With a total of 48 points available to each team over the scheduled final two rounds of matches, plus the Hurricanes and third-placed Barbados Pride still holding a game in hand, making it for them potentially 72 points, the Jaguars still have to keep the champagne on ice and play hard down the stretch to fortify their title hopes.

Jaguars vs Pride in Providence, Guyana

The Jaguars will be pushing hard to bolster their title claims, when they face the Pride at the Guyana National Stadium in the key match of the round, hoping to complete a season sweep against their opponents in a renewal of the regional game’s longest standing rivalry.

JAGUARS (from) – Leon Johnson (captain), Christopher Barnwell, Anthony Bramble, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Ramaal Lewis, Gudakesh Motie, Veerasammy Permaul, Akshaya Persaud, Raymon Reifer, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Vishaul Singh
IN–Lewis, Persaud; OUT–Keon Joseph, Clinton Pestano
PRIDE (from) – Shamarh Brooks (captain), Rashidi Boucher, Jonathan Carter, Miguel Cummins, Keon Harding, Chaim Holder, Aaron Jones, Nicholas Kirton, Marquino Mindley, Shayne Moseley, Shamar Springer, Tevyn Walcott, Jomel Warrican
UMPIRES – Patrick Gustard (Jamaica), Danesh Ramdhanie (Trinidad & Tobago)
MATCH REFEREE – Colin Stuart
RESERVE UMPIRE – Shannon Crawford

Scorpions vs Hurricanes in Kingston, Jamaica

Resurgent, fifth-placed Jamaica Scorpions too, are heading into their contest against the Hurricanes at Sabina Park aiming to complete a season sweep, bolstered by the return of champion left-arm spinner Nikita Miller.

SCORPIONS (from) – Paul Palmer (captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Gordon Bryan, Dennis Bulli, Akim Frazer, Assad Fudadin, Derval Green, Brandon King, Reynard Leveridge, Kennar Lewis, Nikita Miller, Alwyn Williams, Oraine Williams
IN–Bryan, Lewis, Miller, Alwyn Williams; OUT– Jerome Taylor, Aldaine Thomas, Chadwick Walton, Kenroy Williams
HURRICANES (from) ­– Kieran Powell (captain), Sheno Berridge, Quinton Boatswain, Nelson Bolan, Keacy Carty, Rahkeem Cornwall, Jahmar Hamilton, Montcin Hodge, Damion Jacobs, Kian Pemberton, Jaison Peters, Devon Thomas, Terance Warde
IN–Pemberton; OUT–Alzarri Joseph
UMPIRES – Christopher Wright, Deighton Butler (St. Vincent & the Grenadines)
MATCH REFEREE – Denovan Hayles
RESERVE UMPIRE – Jacqueline Williams

Volcanoes vs Red Force in Kingstown, St. Vincent

Windward Islands Volcanoes are also hoping for two things, when they meet cellar dwellers Trinidad & Tobago Red Force at the Arnos Vale Sports Complex – that they can put the memories of defeat in the previous round at this venue behind them and they can complete a season sweep over the visitors.

VOLCANOES (from) – Sunil Ambris (captain), Alick Athanaze, Roland Cato, Larry Edward, Tarryck Gabriel, Kavem Hodge, Ray Jordan, Obed McCoy, Kimani Melius, Denis Smith, Devon Smith, Emmanuel Stewart, Josh Thomas
RED FORCE (from) – Denesh Ramdin (captain), Yannic Cariah, Bryan Charles, Joshua Da Silva, Imran Khan, Jason Mohammed, Khary Pierre, Jeremy Solozano, Odean Smith, Anderson Phillip, Marlon Richards, Daniel St. Clair, Tion Webster
IN–Richards; OUT–Lendl Simmons
UMPIRES – Carl Tuckett (St. Kitts & Nevis), Mark Hawthorne (Ireland)
MATCH REFEREE – Reon King (Guyana)