Gidron Pope (WICB Photo)

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Leaders Guyana Jaguars and nearest rivals Barbados Pride face inconsistent, but slippery opponents that could derail their title ambitions in the eighth round of the WICB Professional Cricket League Regional 4-Day Tournament, starting tomorrow.

With the final break of the season next weekend, the two teams will be looking to make a huge dip towards the finish line, as they take to the road for this weekend’s round of matches.

The Jaguars, the reigning R4Day champions, stumbled in the previous round, but did not fall and will want to return to winning ways, when they meet Windward Islands Volcanoes at the Beausejour Cricket Ground.

A huge haul of points to overcome the 17-point deficit they now face will be the aim of the Pride, when they tackle Jamaica Scorpions at Sabina Park.

At the same time – Trinidad & Tobago Red Force host Leeward Islands Hurricanes at the National Cricket Centre in a contest between two sides that have shown improvement as the second half of the season has unfolded.

InGros-Islet, St. Lucia: The Jaguars have a chance to put their hands firmly on the Headley/Weekes Trophy for the second straight year against the typically feisty Volcanoes.

The Jags were fortunate to escape from Bridgetown with their double-digit lead still in place, as their contest against the Pride ended in a “draw”.

Conversely, it was unfortunate for the Volcanoes that they left Charlotte Amalie with a similar outcome, after putting the Hurricanes under pressure in the second innings on the final day of their rain-affected contest.

Over the last decade, the Volcanoes have held the upper hand on the Jags, winning five times in 11 matches, but there has been an obvious shift in the balance of power, with the visitors winning on the last three occasions the two teams have met.

The Jaguars have travelled with an unchanged side, but the Volcanoes have made three changes, including bringing West Indies Under-19 World Cup-winning opener Gidron Pope into the fray.

In Kingston, Jamaica: The Pride also have a chance to keep their title hopes on course against the Scorpions, whose stocks have plunged as the season has progressed.

The Pride came close to inflicting the first defeat on the Jaguars for the season, but ran out of steam down the stretch, and had to settle for a draw, at the same time, the Scorpions’ season was dealt a cruel blow when Red Force crushed them by eight wickets.

The outcome will hinge upon how a line-up with three of the season’s top run-getters – Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase and Shai Hope – negotiate a steady, if not spectacular attack that includes the season’s leading wicket-taker – veteran left-arm spinner Nikita Miller.

Jamaica held an edge in contests between the two sides over the last five years – but the visitors beat them earlier in this season and had the upper hand in the corresponding fixture last season.

In Couva, Trinidad: Both sides had a lot about which to write home after the previous round, but the Red Force grabbed a big win and the Hurricanes had to fight to stave off defeat after on their best batting performances for the season.

This contest has the potential to be the most explosive of the weekend however. Although the Red Force have dominated over the last five years, a five-wicket victory for the Hurricanes in the final round of matches last year in the corresponding fixture will be great motivation.

Fast bowler Alzarri Joseph and batsman Kacey Carty, two players that played a key role in the West Indies Under-19 World Cup-winning squad, have been brought in to reinforce the visitors.


Windward Islands Volcanoes vs Guyana Jaguars


VOLCANOES (from): Liam Sebastien (captain), Sunil Ambris, Alston Bobb, Kavem Hodge, Mervin Matthew, Kyle Mayers, Kevin McClean, Dalton Polius, Gidron Pope, Jerlani Robinson, Shane Shillingford, Devon Smith, Tyrone Theophile

IN–Matthew, Pope, Polius; OUT–Miles Bascombe, Keddy Lesporis, Kenroy Peters

JAGUARS (from): Leon Johnson (captain), Robin Bacchus, Ronsford Beaton, Devendra Bishoo, Anthony Bramble, Rajendra Chandrika,Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Assad Fudadin, Keon Joseph, Gudakesh Motie, Veerasammy Permaul, Raymon Reifer, Vishaul Singh


UMPIRES: Lennox Abraham, Gregory Brathwaite (Barbados)

MATCH REFEREE: Patrick Felix

RESERVE UMPIRE: Deighton Butler

Trinidad & Tobago Red Force vs Leeward Islands Hurricanes


RED FORCE (from): Jason Mohammed (captain), Yannic Cariah, Narsingh Deonarine, Rayad Emrit, Kyle Hope, Akeal Hosein, Jon-RussJagessar, Steven Katwaroo, Imran Khan, Evin Lewis, Yannick Ottley, Marlon Richards, Jeremy Solozano


HURRICANES (from): Nkrumah Bonner (captain), Nelson Boland, Kacey Carty, Rahkeem Cornwall, Daron Cruickshank, Colin Hamer, JahmarHamilton, Montcin Hodge, Alzarri Joseph, Jeremiah Louis, Orlando Peters, Jacques Taylor, Gavin Tonge

IN–Joseph, Carty; OUT–Quinton Boatswain, Sherwin Peters

UMPIRES: Nandkumar Shivsankar (Guyana), Christopher Taylor (Jamaica)

MATCH REFEREE: Michael Ragoonath

RESERVE UMPIRE: Lyndon Rajkumar

Jamaica Scorpions vs Barbados Pride


SCORPIONS (from): John Campbell (captain), Gavon Brown, Jason Dawes, Kirk Edwards, Nicholson Gordon, Trevon Griffith, DamionJacobs, Brandon King, Andre McCarthy, Nikita Miller, Devon Thomas, Shacaya Thomas, Chadwick Walton

IN–Brown, Dawes, Griffith; OUT–Jermaine Blackwood, Sheldon Cottrell, Marquino Mindley

PRIDE (from): Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Shamarh Brooks, Jonathan Carter, Roston Chase, Kyle Corbin, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Justin Greaves, Shai Hope, Omar Phillips, Kevin Stoute, Hayden Walsh Jr, Jomel Warrican

IN–Warrican; OUT–Keon Harding

UMPIRES: Christopher Wright, Nigel Duguid (Guyana)

MATCH REFEREE: Michael Hylton

RESERVE UMPIRE: Rushane Samuels


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