By Ravi Madholall
The latest victory against Jamaica Scorpions will certainly fortify Guyana Jaguars favorite tag to be the champion side again in 2018/2019 West Indies Professional Cricket League regional four-day tournament.
Despite succumbing to the Scorpions in the first innings, the Jaguars clawed their way back surging to an efficient seven-wicket margin on the final day (Sunday) at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.
After seven matches thus far in the ten-round, six-team competition, Jaguars, the defending champions, have racked up five victories but had suffered the indignity of two defeats.
Notwithstanding that, the four-time title-holder Guyana Jaguars are sitting pretty at the top on the points standing with 112.4 points, way above second-place team Leeward Islands Hurricanes, who have 83.2 points but from six appearances.
With three more challenging encounters for them now, and in spite of regional powerhouse franchises, Guyana Jaguars are still capable of producing quality performances.
They will be up against the Scorpions in their next assignment at the famous venue, Sabina Park in Jamaica while they will move back home to entertain another respectable oppositions Barbados Pride, who are fourth with 73.6 points from six games.
Their final clash will be even tougher, especially from the psychological side of things as they went down to the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force (58.8, 6 games) when they met earlier in the season at the Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad and Tobago.
Meanwhile, soon after the match finished in Guyana, skipper Leon Johnson told the Local Media, that he was confident of his team keeps progressing to another successful tournament.
Johnson whose form has been inconsistent, bounced back with two half-centuries against the reggae side (59 points, 6 games) and that would have done tremendously well for him particularly ahead of next three engagements.
Johnson has led the team outstandingly over the past four triumphant years and again showing excellent leadership and no doubt he would want to be in the maroon colours having represented West Indies in nine tests and six one-day internationals.
Johnson, the elegant left-hander, also spoke about the team’s cohesion from since the commencement of the tournament. A component that is extremely important for the coveted championship trophy. Several of the other established batsmen have been in overwhelming form too and would definitely give Johnson greater optimism they can create history in the first-class competition with five straight trophies under his belt.
The bowlers, both the pacers and spinners, have shown great consistency as well and their most experienced bowler Veerasammy Permaul is the leading wicket-taker, a manifestation of this individual enthusiasm to win the tournament.
Guyana Jaguars are scheduled to have a break this weekend but will be back in actions from February 21.
Above photo courtesy of CWI Media/ Kerrie Eversley of Brooks LaTouche Photography