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Early front-runners looking to stay ahead in second round


Early front-runners looking to stay ahead in second round

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ST JOHN’S – Early leaders Trinidad & Tobago Red Force and two-time defending champions Guyana Jaguars will be looking to forge further ahead when the second round of the Digicel Regional 4-Day Tournament, starting today at Warner Park.

Red Force will renew a fierce regional sports rivalry when they host Barbados Pride at Queen’s Park Oval in a key match of the round.

The Jaguars however, will be on the road, when they face Leeward Islands Hurricanes at Warner Park in another crucial match, while Jamaica Scorpions and Windward Islands Volcanoes face off at Sabina Park, looking to get their season into gear.

In Port of Spain, Trinidad: The Red Force jumped out to an early lead in the Tournament, narrowly ahead of the Jags, when they crushed the Volcanoes, but a severely depleted Pride struggled to find their rhythm against the Hurricanes.

This contest could be the litmus test about the strength of both sides with the home team losing more experience with long-standing batsman Jason Mohammed chosen for the West Indies side now playing in a three-nation One-day International tournament in Zimbabwe.

Recent history favours the Pride. They have won seven of the last nine matches between the two sides, including two of the last three at this venue, but the loss of many of their regulars to West Indies duty means there is a chance for the Red Force to redress the setbacks of the last few seasons.

Both sides appear well balanced, vulnerable a bit on the batting side, but solid on the bowling, and the outcome will be down to which side handles the pressure from the other best.

In Basseterre, St Kitts: Jaguars will be hoping to impose themselves and blow the Hurricanes off track.

Jaguars romped to a comfortable victory in the opening round and the Hurricanes, strugglers for the last few seasons, regained a bit of their self-confidence with a superior performance over the Pride in a drawn match.

Current form and recent history strongly favour the visitors, as the Jaguars have won three of their previous four matches against this opponent.

Another strong performance from the Hurricanes will be the right tonic for a side trying to redeem itself with its supporters following a number of seasons languishing in the bottom half of the table.

In Kingston, Jamaica: Both the Scorpions and the Volcanoes promised much before the start of the season, but they have been left are reeling following depressing defeats.

Both sides are strong in the bowling, but the fragility of the batting of the two sides were cruelly exposed in the defeats and this they will be looking to address during this match.

The Scorpions won both matches the two sides played last season and the Volcanoes will have to trace back to two seasons ago for the last time they prevailed at this venue.

Both teams need all the points they could acquire to stay in the title race, so a keen affair is expected.

The Scorpions have brought little-known West Indies “A” Team fast bowler Reynard Leveridge into their squad, and the Volcanoes have sought to boost their side with the inclusion of former West Indies Under-19 pair of batsman Roland Cato and left-arm spinner Larry Edwards. (PR)