Interest remains as final round of Regional 4-Day matches begin today

Taken from Guyana Chronicle

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Interest will remain high in the Regional 4-Day Tournament, when the final round of matches open today.

Fans will be keen to follow the battle for final place in the semi-finals and the destination of the WICB President’s Trophy.

The top three teams entering the final round of matches – Trinidad & Tobago, Windward Islands and Barbados – have all secured a place in the last four – but the last slot in the semi-finals has come down to a straight shoot-out, when Combined Campuses & Colleges host Jamaica at the Three Ws Oval on the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies in Barbados.

Two points separate the two sides, but they will each enter the contest in different frames of mind, as CCC gained a timely boost of confidence with their victory over Windwards, while the Jamaicans slumped to a heavy defeat against T&T in the previous round of matches.

CCC should temper their enthusiasm however, and Jamaica should not hold their heads too low when the two teams consider their history in this tournament.

The Jamaicans remain the only regional side that the CCC have never beaten in the Regional 4-Day Tournament and they have never even conceded a first-innings lead in any of the eight matches that they have played previously. The visitors have also won every time they have played at the Three Ws Oval.

To show that they mean business, Jamaica have drafted the West Indies pair of batting stylist Marlon Samuels and left-arm fast bowler Sheldon Cotterell into their squad, following their exploits at the ICC World Twenty20 Tournament that ended last Sunday in Bangladesh.

In the other two matches: The spotlight will fall on T&T and Barbados – two of the three teams that have already qualified for the semi-finals – as the Windwards are idle this week.

T&T will be eyeing as many points as possible to secure their first Regional 4-Day title in seven years, when they face Guyana on foreign soil at the Guyana National Stadium in Providence.
The Red Force, who are a shoo-in to host one of the semi-finals, have got the better of the Guyanese in eight of their last nine R4D matches, including three wins.

They have boosted their chances with returning West Indies World T20 batsman Lendl Simmons, while the Guyanese have been shaken with illness or injury, sidelining key spinner Veerasammy Permaul and experienced batsman Assad Fudadin. Leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo and all-rounder Christopher Barnwell will replace them.

Similarly, Barbados will be looking to collect as many points as they can when they play Leeward Islands on the road at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground (VRCG) in North Sound, Antigua, to see if they can pip their long-standing regional sports rivals for the WICB President’s Trophy.

They, however, need to secure one point to formalise their right to host the other semi-final and must be wary of their opponents, whose confidence received a shot-in-the-arm with their victory over the Guyanese in the previous round.

Barbados have won each of their previous three matches against Leewards in the R4D – notably, a sequence that started with a six-wicket win three years ago at the VRCG.

Squads
GUYANA (from): Leon Johnson (captain), Christopher Barnwell, Ronsford Beaton, Devendra Bishoo, Anthony Bramble, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Trevon Griffith, Shimron Hetmyer, Raun Johnson, Keon Joseph, Amir Khan, Zaheer Mohamed, Vishal Singh

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO (from): Rayad Emrit (captain), Jonathan Augustus, Adrian Barath, Darren Bravo, Shannon Gabriel, Amit Jaggernauth, Ricky Jaipaul, Stephen Katwaroo, Imran Khan, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Marlon Richards, Lendl Simmons

LEEWARD ISLANDS (from): Kieran Powell (captain), Quinton Boatswain, Jahmar Hamilton, Yannick Leonard, Javier Liburd, Anthony Martin, Jaison Peters, Orlando Peters, Akeem Saunders, Jacques Taylor, Devon Thomas, Gavin Tonge, Kelbert Walters

BARBADOS (from): Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Sulieman Benn, Carlos Brathwaite, Jonathan Carter, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Fidel Edwards, Kirk Edwards, Shai Hope, Ashley Nurse, Omar Phillips, Kevin Stoute

COMBINED CAMPUSES & COLLEGES (from): Steven Jacobs (captain), Ryan Austin, Kyle Corbin, Akeem Dewar, Kavem Hodge, Jermaine Levy, Kevin McClean, Paul Palmer, Floyd Reifer, Raymon Reifer, Shacaya Thomas, Chadwick Walton, Jomel Warrican

JAMAICA (from): Tamar Lambert (captain), Carlton Baugh Jr, Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Brian Buchanan, John Campbell, Jon-Ross Campbell, Sheldon Cotterell, Damion Jacobs, Andre McCarthy, Nikita Miller, Marlon Samuels, Jerome Taylor.