West Indies’ Regional 4-Day Tournament: Guyana Harpy Eagles set to play Barbados Pride today at Queen’s Park Oval
By Brandon Corlette
The Leon Johnson-led Guyana Harpy Eagles team will play Barbados Pride — defending champions in the Regional 4-Day Tournament and table leaders in the current points’ standing — from 10:00h Eastern Caribbean time today at the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad & Tobago. On the last two instances when these teams met, Pride defeated the Guyanese franchise by seven wickets and 235 runs respectively.
Of recent, the Harpy Eagles have been struggling, especially in the batting department. After an extended break, both teams would have to start afresh, and the team that plays well on the given four days would emerge victorious. However, according to five-time Regional Four-Day captain Leon Johnson, the team is ready to go.
“I think it is about getting our minds right. We know the conditions well. Similar conditions to Guyana, so we are ready to go,” Johnson said in a pre-match press conference.
The Guyana Harpy Eagles are equipped with two additional pacers in Ronsford Beaton and Demetri Cameron, and Johnson has expressed positive sentiments on both pacemen.
For Johnson, his form has been a concern. While not zooming in exactly on his form, the skipper has said the hunger is there for him to score runs, but the execution has been off for him.
“Every game is important for your country. Every game is important to perform,” Johnson has said. “There is a lot of cricket to be played. Looking at the points’ table, the top teams have to play each other. It could still be a fight for the championship, but we need to take care of what we could, that is: playing good cricket; planning well and execute well, play session by session. Once you play good cricket, the results will follow,” the experienced Guyana captain has said.
While not disclosing team selection, it has been known that Beaton and Adams are the two travelling reserves, and Kevin Sinclair and Cameron are the added players to the 13-man squad. Shimron Hetmyer, who played the two earlier rounds, is unavailable, and there will be an opening for another batsman. Akshya Persaud and the in-form Tevin Imlach would want to grab that opportunity.
Meanwhile, captain of the Pride team, Kraigg Brathwaite, has said the rivalry between Guyana and Barbados is something his team is looking forward to.
“The guys are really looking forward to get out there and do well for the country,” Brathwaite has said.
With Guyana stacked with quality left-arm spin in Veerasammy Permaul and Gudakesh Motie, Brathwaite has said, once his batsmen trust their defence, runs will come. “Guyana has a fair bit of spin in their team; we would know that. It is just about backing your plans and sticking with it. Trust your defence,” he said.
With the West Indies set to play Test matches against Bangladesh in June/July, Brathwaite will be looking to see other players put up their hands for selection to the team. Despite being stacked with star-studded players, the Pride unit would be aiming to play collective cricket.
Barbados Pride: Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Shamarh Brooks, Jonathan Carter, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Keon Harding, Chaim Holder, Shai Hope, Akeem Jordan, Shayne Moseley, Raymon Reifer, Ramon Simmonds, Jomel Warrican, Camarie Boyce and Justin Greaves.
Guyana Harpy Eagles: Leon Johnson (captain), Keemo Paul, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Tevin Imlach, Vishaul Singh, Akshaya Persaud, VeerasammyPermaul, Anthony Bramble, Gudakesh Motie, Nial Smith, Demetri Cameron, Antony Adams, Kevin Sinclair and Ronsford Beaton.