Last-place Scorpions and Pride face off at Sabina Park
Jamaica Scorpions will be looking to move from the bottom the table in the scheduled final round of the 2018-19 West Indies Championship, which opens on Thursday in Guyana, Antigua and Jamaica.
The Scorpions, which are last in the six-team standings on 82.4 points, will host Barbados Pride, which are third on 96 points, at Sabina Park in Kingston.
Both teams still have plenty for which to play in their contest as the sides are two of four in the Championship with two outstanding games. However, the results will have no significant bearing on the title chase.
Both teams are a shadow of what they used to be previously, but they can both pursue a strong finish to the season and target higher placings on the Championship table.
SCORPIONS (from) – Paul Palmer (captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Dennis Bulli, Akim Fraser, Assad Fudadin, Garth Garvey, Nicholson Gordon, Derval Green, Brandon King, Kennar Lewis, Nikita Miller,Jerome Taylor
IN–Bonner, Garvey, Gordon, Taylor; OUT–Gordon Bryan, Reynard Leveridge, Alwyn Williams, Oraine Williams
PRIDE (from) – Shamarh Brooks (captain), Kraigg Brathwaite, Jonathan Carter, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Keon Harding, Chemar Holder, Marquino Mindley, Shayne Moseley, Shamar Springer, Tevyn Walcott, Jomel Warrican
IN–Brathwaite, Chase, Dowrich, Holder; OUT–Rashidi Boucher, Chaim Holder, Aaron Jones, Nicholas Kirton
UMPIRES – Verdayne Smith, Deighton Butler (St. Vincent & the Grenadines)
MATCH REFEREE – Denovan Hayles
RESERVE UMPIRE – Christopher Wright
Meanwhile, a crucial victory for front-runners Guyana Jaguars in the previous round against Barbados Pride in a renewal of the longest standing rivalry in the Caribbean game has fortified their bid for a record-equalling fifth straight hold on the Headley/Weekes Trophy, the symbol of supremacy in the West Indies first-class game.
The Jags top the table with 136 points – 25.2 points clear of their nearest rivals, Leeward Islands Hurricanes.
With a maximum of 24 points available to each team in every round of matches, plus the Hurricanes still having a game in hand, making it for them potentially 48 points still on the table, the pressure is on for the top two teams to play strongly and collect a huge haul of points in this round to formalise their claims for the Trophy.
JAGUARS VS RED FORCE IN PROVIDENCE, GUYANA
The Jaguars will be eyeing revenge, when they face Trinidad & Tobago Red Force at the Guyana National Stadium in the one of the two key matches of the round.
Red Force defended home turf stoutly when the two sides met in the sixth round early last month and the Jaguars will be looking to return the favour, as they aim to finish the season strongly and claim the title.
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
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
UMPIRES – Patrick Gustard (Jamaica), Jacqueline Williams (Jamaica)
MATCH REFEREE – Reon King
RESERVE UMPIRE – Nandkumar Shivsankar
HURRICANES VS VOLCANOES IN NORTH SOUND, ANTIGUA
The Hurricanes came from behind and clinch an important victory over Windward Islands Volcanoes in a ding-dong battle in the all-Islands derby in the seventh round of matches last month, which marked the return of Dominica to staging first-class matches following the devastation of Hurricane Maria.
But the hosts will be hoping to play from the front and that it can be a far more straightforward contest, and that they can claim a season sweep over their opponents at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in a bid to make a final dash for the title ahead of the Jaguars.
HURRICANES (from) – Kieran Powell (captain), Sheno Berridge, Quinton Boatswain, Nelson Bolan, Keacy Carty, Rahkeem Cornwall, Jahmar Hamilton, Montcin Hodge, Damion Jacobs, Alzarri Joseph, Jaison Peters, Devon Thomas, Terance Warde
IN–Joseph; OUT–Kian Pemberton
VOLCANOES (from) – Sunil Ambris (captain), Alick Athanaze, Audy Alexander, Roland Cato, Larry Edward, Tarryck Gabriel, Kavem Hodge, Ray Jordan, Kimani Melius, Denis Smith, Devon Smith, Emmanuel Stewart, Josh Thomas
IN–Alexander; OUT–Obed McCoy
UMPIRES – Christopher Taylor (Jamaica), Mark Hawthorne (Ireland)
MATCH REFEREE – Vanroy Burnes
RESERVE UMPIRE – Bernard Joseph
(After the ninth round)
1. Jaguars 36 points
2. Hurricanes 110.8
3. Pride 96
4. Volcanoes 86
5. Red Force 85.6
6. Scorpions 82.4