‘Not taking Jaguars for granted’, says Coach Cornwall
2018-2019 CWI Regional 4-Day Tournament…
– Kieran Powell returns to Hurricanes squad
By Brandon Corlette
The second-placed team in the CWI Regional 4-Day Tournament, Leewards Islands Hurricanes, are ready to play table leaders Guyana Jaguars from today, Thursday January 17, 2019, at Providence. The action is slated to start from 9:30h.
Speaking with Guyana Times Sport on the eve of the fifth round clash, Hurricanes Assistant Coach/Manager Wilden Cornwall highlighted that the Providence pitch looks different from how it had appeared the last season. The 45-year- old Cornwall told this reporter in an exclusive interview that the dry Providence pitch would offer a lot to the faster bowlers, since it’s covered with grass.
The Hurricanes have lost three of their top players: Devon Thomas, Alzarri Joseph
and Jhamar Hamilton, who were called up for West Indies duties. The Hurricanes trio are currently playing for the Cricket West Indies President’s XI against the touring England.
The loss of Joseph is a big blow to the Hurricanes, since he is the leading Hurricanes fast bowler and the most fitting complement to Jeremiah Louis. “Hamilton, who has been in the Windies test squads over the past year, has been a consistent performer for the Hurricanes, and his fellow gloves-man Devon Thomas will certainly be missed”, Cornwall added.
With three big players absent from the Hurricanes line-up, the young players in the squad must step up and contribute significantly to the team’s performance.
Kieran Powell, who was dropped from the West Indies test squad, will be aiming to create a big impact to earn his position as the opener on the West Indies team. An elegant left-handed opener, Powell has a wealth of experience in the First-class arena, having played 112 matches and scored 6174 runs at an average of 31. As Hurricanes captain, Powell has 33 half-centuries and seven centuries beneath his belt.
Cornwall added that Jeremiah Louis has been bowling with steam, and is one of the top players. He said the 22-year-old fast bowler has played 35 First-class matches and taken 77 wickets at an average of 26.85. His best bowling figure being 6-69,
Rahkeem Cornwall is certainly a big player in the Hurricanes squad; having played 46 matches at the First-class level, he has 1798 runs to his name. Cornwall averages 23 with the bat, but his bowling record is simply outstanding.
The Jaguars will be wary of Cornwall, who has taken 214 wickets in only 46 matches, including 14 five-wicket hauls and 11 four- wicket hauls.
The assistant Coach, Cornwall, shared his views on the Guyana Jaguars team, “They have been playing consistent cricket over the past years”, Cornwall related. He explained that the Guyana team has no particular player that they will have an eye out for, but the entire Jaguars team can take the game away. Over the past successive years the Jaguars played, each player has contributed to the team’s success, and Hurricanes will not be taking the formidable Jaguars unit for granted.
In Hurricanes’ three matches this season, Montcin Hodge is their leading run scorer with 327 runs, while young batting sensation Keacy Carty has 209 runs. In the bowling department, off-spinner Cornwall has 12 wickets, second to Joseph’s 14.
Former Guyana Jaguars owner Rajendra Chandrika, who played one match this season for Hurricanes, is still suffering injury and is expected to miss the fifth round.
Leeward Islands Hurricanes will be reminiscing on their four wicket win against the Guyana Jaguars in the 2016-2017 Regional Four Day tournament. In that match, played in St Kitts, Jaguars managed 293 in their first innings, while Hurricanes were bundled out for 158 in their first innings. In that match, Jaguars were on top, gaining a 135-run lead.
Jaguars declared on 233-8, setting a target of 371 for victory. The Hurricanes current opener, Montcin Hodge, notched up a match winning century in that monumental encounter that saw Hurricanes chase down the target with four wickets to spare.
Other outstanding Hurricanes performers in the match were bowlers Cornwall and Hayden Walsh, who wrecked the Jaguars batting line-up that included the legendary Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
Jaguars have been unstoppable in the tournament, and the Hurricanes victory last season may have been long forgotten. The Hurricanes, however, are approaching this game with a positive mindset that they have the ability to upset the Jaguars.