By Ravi Madholall
Guyana Jaguars suffered an eight-wicket defeat recently at hands of Jamaica Scorpions in their eight-round match of the 2018/2019 Professional Cricket League regional four-day tournament.
The defending champions now have five wins and three loses but they still remain at the top on the points table with 117.2 points, not too far distance from second-placed team Leeward Islands Hurricanes, who have 93.4 points from seven outings. Barbados Pride boys, with back-to-back wins, are climbing sharply behind on 90.6 points also from seven matches in this ten-round competition.
Notably, the other side to have featured in eight games are Windward Islands Volcanoes, who have 80 points while Jamaica Scorpions have also shown some amount of eagerness to be the champions having racked up 76.4 points from seven encounters. Trinidad and Tobago Red Force realistically seem to be a loser again in this edition remain in the cellar position with 67.4 points from seven games.
In Guyana Jaguars match that played at the renowned Sabina Park venue in Jamaica, they scored 158 and 138 in their first and second innings respectively. Scorpions failed to make a big impression with the bat as well in their first knock having succumbed to 139 leaving the visitors with a very slim lead of 19 runs. However, their victory chase was led comfortably by axed test batsman Jermaine Blackwood, who did good justice with a responsible, unbeaten 72.
Prior to the commencement of this encounter, Guyanese skipper Leon Johnson had expressed great confidence his team dominating but they lacked consistency with both bat and ball. In their seventh-round assignment, they beat Jamaica Scorpions on home soil with Johnson leading from the front with a well-composed half-century pursing the winning target. According to the Johnson, who represented West Indies in one-days and tests, stated that the Jaguars team is always dynamic and anxious to create good impression after their win against the Scorpions, who stung back in their back yard. The Jaguars will have to roar in both of their remaining matches against nemesis Barbados Pride at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence from Thursday.
The following week, they will clash with Trinidad and Tobago Red Force at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port-of-Spain. Again, Guyana Jaguars will be without one of their premier batsmen Shimron Hetmyer who is doing duty for the Windies in the current five-match one-day series against touring England. They will not have the services of veteran leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo who too playing in the limited-over series while energetic all-rounder Keemo Paul is recovering from a leg-injury that he sustained in the just concluded test series between Windies and England in the Caribbean.