Georgetown, Guyana - In 33 matches between the two sides Guyana have won 16, Barbados have won 15 while two of those contests ended in no-results and today Zone ‘A’ leaders Guyana Jaguars, on five points, face-off with defending Champions Barbados Pride (2 points) in their second round Day-Night match in the NAGICO Super50 Cricket tournament at the Queens Park Oval.
The Jaguars are on a high after mauling the Windwards by 142 runs in their opening game at the Queens Park Oval on Thursday, while the Bajans would be disappointed that in a match they were expected to win against CCC at Couva was washed out without a ball being bowled forcing them to settle for two points.
Assistant manager of the Barbados Pride Dexter Toppin said that for big tournaments such as this one, the games should be played at better grounds which have proper drainage.
“We can’t do much about the weather but again I think the authorities must look at it very closely in terms of conditions to meet to play cricket in a West Indies tournament because if tournaments like these is rained-off then it really doesn’t make sense because if you really want to push your cricket, you really need have the best facilities to play on,” Toppin added.
Head Coach of the Jaguars Esaun Crandon told Kaieteur Sport he was pleased with his team’s performance in their first match, especially the bowlers led by Veerasammy Permaul. The former Guyana pacer added that Vishaul Singh got his debut game because both Royston Crandon and Jonathon Foo were unavailable due to being unwell.
Singh faced 99 balls for his 49 and give his wicket away with an ill-advised reverse sweep after he had gotten himself ‘bogged’ down.
“Vishaul began well when we lost two early wickets but then began soaking up too many dot balls, putting pressure on Barnwell. He is not a power hitter and was finding it difficult to get singles resulting in him trying something different which got him out,” Crandon explained.
Crandon stated that Foo is still feeling weak but feels that Royston Crandon should be fit for today’s match after suffering from an eye problem. He hinted that one of the pacers or Singh could be dropped to accommodate Crandon’s return to the side.
All eyes will be on Barbadian seam bowling all-rounder Raymond Reifer who has never played any of his 11 Regional one-day games for Barbados. The left-handed player has played 10 times for CCC at this level has not done anything special since he was bought by the Guyana Franchise and could be given one more chance against his home country.
He did not bowl a ball against the Windwards and Ronsford Beaton and Barnwell are capable of doing the pace bowling duties with Crandon’s off-spin backing up Steven Jacobs, Permaul and Devendra Bishoo on a track that should assist the spinners while still having something in it for the quicker men.
Talented but inconsistent opener Trevon Griffith could get a final chance to get a big score at the top of the competition, while Rajendra Chandrika has looked very accomplished. Shiv Chanderpaul’s only century at this level came against Barbados in Jamaica in 1998 and batting at number three he will hope for a big score and for the others to bat around him.
Barnwell, Reifer, Jacobs, Anthony Bramble and Crandon, the only other player in the Guyana side with a ton at this level, are all big-hitters while Permaul and Bishoo could also bat.
The Bajans are without opener Dwayne Smith, who along with Kraigg Braithwaite scored half-centuries in Barbados’ seven-wicket win against Guyana in last year’s semi-final. While Smith is with the West Indies one-day side in South Africa, Braithwaite has returned to lead the batting.
Without newly appointed Windies 50-over Captain Jason Holder and Carlos Braithwaite who are both in South Africa, Tino Best, who did not play a single match last year, and Fidel Edwards who took 4-16 and was involved in two run outs when the two teams last met in the semis, will spearhead the Bajan attack.
Without Suleiman Benn, the spin department will be led by Ashley Nurse, Ryan Hinds and Jamal Warrican for the Barbados Pride who beat hosts T&T in last year’s Final after promising much in the shorter formats in recent times and failing to deliver.
Their seventh in the regional One-day format was their first since sharing the title with Leewards following a tie in the 2010 Final at Sabina Park. Guyana’s first tile was achieved in 1980 when Roy Fredericks scored Guyana’s first century at this level. Guyana’s other titles were won in 1983, 1985, 1993, 1995, 1998, 2001, 2003 and 2005.
Today’s contest should be riveting and it is scheduled to commence at 13:30hrs while the Windwards play CCC in the other Zone ‘A’ today at Couva in a day match starting at 09:30hrs.
Barbados squad: Kevin Stoute (Captain), Tino Best, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shamarh Brooks, Kyle Corbin, Shane Dowrich, Fidel Edwards, Kirk Edwards, Ryan Hinds, Shai Hope, Ashley Nurse, Javon Searles-Scantlebury, Jamal Warrican, Kenroy Williams.