Defending champions Guyana Jaguars departed for the Ogle Airport from the GCC ground in pouring rain early yesterday morning for Trinidad & Tobago where they are scheduled to play their fourth round game in the WICB PCL First Class cricket Franchise against home team T&T Red Force from tomorrow at the Queens Park Oval in Port-of-Spain.
Twenty-eight year-old Skipper Leon Johnson is confident his team can continue their winning ways from Guyana with another solid performance in Carnival County and expects the ‘Oval’ track to have a bit more bounce than the one at Providence where they beat the Windwards, Leewards and Barbados to maintain their top place position with 53 points.
“I expect a little more bounce than Providence from the Trinidad pitch and some help for the spinners. But it should be similar to the pitches we played on in Guyana. If the pitch is what I expect it to be we will play all three spinners but you never know what type of pitch we will be prepared and we will pick the final X1 when we get to the ground and see the conditions,” a confident Johnson stated.
Johnson has played four Tests and could be considered a bit unfortunate not being selected for the homes series against England and Australia after scoring 44 & 54 in his last Test match in South Africa.
“We are coming off three wins in Guyana and everyone has gotten starts with (Rajendra) Chandrika and Vishaul (Singh) getting centuries. Our totals this season have been consistently high and everyone is in high spirits going into this game,” the Jaguars Captain disclosed.
“It’s a bit of a concern for me that I have gotten starts without going on to three figures but I know I have been batting well …I got 74, 29 and 20 not out in Guyana so I won’t let those concerns affect my batting and I am determined to get a hundred in Trinidad,” Johnson, who has only been able to convert only two of his 26 First Class scores over 50 into centuries.
Test batsman Narsingh Deonarine, who scored back-to-back tons for Guyana in the inaugural PCL, is now playing for T&Ts Red Force and Johnson said that the Berbician left-hander is a quality player and it will be a challenge bowling to him and facing his off-spin.
“Of course Narsingh is a quality player that we would miss in our side. I also suspect that he would love to do well against us and I am sure there will be some byplay in this game between him and the Guyanese players. We know how he plays and we are determined to perform to our full potential to extend our unbeaten run in this tournament which began after the third round game against Barbados last year.”
The Jaguars have now gone 10 matches without a loss and Tagenarine Chanderpaul has been added to the 13-man squad since Shemron Hetymer is expected not be unavailable for the fifth round in Jamaica next weekend.
Jaguars squad: Leon Johnson (Capt), Vishaul Singh (V/Capt), Assad Fudadin, Shemron Hetymer, Shiv Chanderpaul, Raymon Reifer, Chris Barnwell, Anthony Bramble, Steven Jacobs, Veerasammy Permaul, Ronsford Beaton, Gudakesh Motie, Keon Joseph, Tagenarine Chanderpaul.
(Taken from Kaieteur News)