Jaguars hunting maximum points from out-of-sorts Volcanoes

Esuan Crandon, the Guyana Jaguars Head Coach wants three-time defending champs to brush aside the Windward Islands Volcanoes when the second half of this season’s Regional 4-Day tournament begins today at Providence.
Despite a stern test in round five, the Jaguars still managed to maul the Barbados Pride handsomely by eight wickets, which took their total overall points to 86.4 heading into their next assignment against bottom of the table the Windward Islands Volcanoes.

Guyana Jaguars Vice-Captain Vishaul Singh takes a sharp catch during practice on Wednesday while Captain Leon Johnson admires his work at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence

With much momentum under their belt having just suffered one mixed result by virtue of a draw which they suffered at the hands of the Leeward Islands Hurricanes in round three; Guyana have been their usual hard-to-beat selves and the coach expects his unbeaten record will go unblemished by the end of round 7 where they face the Hurricanes again, ahead of the Christmas holiday break.
The Jaguars versus Volcanoes clash is a tale of two contrasting sides with Guyana leading the table while the islanders dangle in last place. The Volcanoes have lost four matches to date, despite having a seasoned bunch of players representing their franchise, while Guyana on the other hand has won four matches.
Windwards poor performances this season have relegated them to last place but Crandon still doesn’t think it’s wise to not underestimate their opponents even if they might be under the weather.
“We have to stay focused as a unit, obviously Windward Islands have not been playing good cricket this season, we are going to capitalize on them being low on confidence and try to keep them down,” said the Coach.
Crandon said that he will not be looking at the Guyana/Windwards match as a possible walk over for the defending champs but rather a good opportunity for his players to utilize the home conditions and keep the streak at home alive. “It’s always important to capitalize on your home advantage; we know our conditions better than any team who will be coming here to play us. The important thing for us is to gain as much points as we can form these two games, it will put us in a very good position for the latter half of the tournament,” explained Crandon.
With a few big players missing due to international duties, the Jaguars have called upon their younger crop of players to take charge in the absence of the senior guys and the junior Jaguars have risen to the occasion according to Crandon.
While most of the senior players like Leon Johnson, Vishaul Singh, Shivnarine Chanderpaul seemed to have been hitting form over the past few rounds; the likes of Kemo Paul who bagged 9 wickets against the Pride in a spirited MVP performance, Sherfane Rutherford who has been equally as good in both departments and opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul who hit back-to-back fifties against Barbados; all earned praises from their Coach who expects them to repeat come Thursday.
The Volcanoes have been terribly out-of-form, not managing a win since the season got underway despite having a few household names in the side. Former West Indies opener and one of the most prolific run-scorers in Regional cricket Devon Smith will be the key for the Volcanoes with 501 runs from just five matches and a highest of 185 not out.
Apart from Smith, no other batsman has scored a hundred this season with batsman Roland Cato’s 90 being the second highest score. Ex-West Indies Test spinner Shane Shillingford with 21 victims to date will lead the bowling as the most senior operator with the ball.
The last time these two sides met earlier in the tournament, Guyana eased to a 7 wicket win after Rutherford grabbed 6-32 and scored 51 with Anthony Bramble 90, Singh 119 and Chandrapaul Hemraj 50 were the match-winners.
Today’s match will bowl off from 9:30h at the Providence, National Stadium and admission to the venue is free.
Windwards Volcanoes: Tyron Theophile ( Captain), Tarryck Gabriel, Miles Bascombe, Shermon Lewis, Delorn Johnson, Kyle Mayers, Roland Cato , Shane Shillingford, Audy Alexander, Devon Smith, Donwell Hector, Dennis Smith and Kenneth Dember.
Guyana Jaguars squad: Leon Johnson (Captain), Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Vishaul Singh, Anthony Bramble, Keemo Paul, Akshaya Persaud, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Veerasammy Permaul, Gudakesh Motie and Keon Joseph