Bajans eye winning start v HPC
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – Joint defending champions Barbados will launch their defence of the regional limited overs crown when they clash with the High Performance Centre in the opening match of the Super50 Series here Wednesday.
The Barbadians tied with the Leeward Islands in a tense final of last year’s competition in Jamaica but will hope to walk away this time with full ownership of the title.
They have reached more regional limited overs finals (17) than any other team since beating Trinidad and Tobago in the final of the first two tournaments in 1976 and 1977, but have just five titles to show for their efforts.
The HPC, meanwhile, made their debut at this level last year when Guyanese Rajendra Chandrika scored 52 against Barbados and they will look forward to the encounter at Everest Cricket Club.
Guyanese left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul, Jamaican leg-spinner Nkruma Bonner and Vincentian leg-spinner Keron Cottoy could make scoring difficult for the Barbadians who are without their newest Test player Kirk Edwards, his unrelated name sake Fidel and Kemar Roach, due to West Indies duties.
Kevin McLean, Delorn Johnson and Test pacer Brandon Bess are capable of picking up early wicket for HPC who are without Kieran Powell, who replaced injured Ramnaresh Sarwan in the West Indies team to Bangladesh.
Former captain Ryan Hinds will lead the Barbados batting and should also play an important role with his left-arm spin, while batting support should come from new skipper Kenroy Williams, all-rounder Dwayne Smith, Rashidi Boucher, Kyle Hope, Dale Richards and Patrick Browne.
Jonathon Carter and Carlos Braithwaite, who both wanted to represent CCC instead of Barbados, are capable of contributing with the bat for Barbados who will expect an early break through from fiery pacer Tino Best.
Out-of-favour West Indies left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn, Hinds and off-spinner Ashley Nurse, the latter not considered fit enough for West Indies duty but still picked in the Barbados side, could cause the most problems with the ball for Barbados.
Chandrika, Sharmarh Brooks, Kyle Corbin, Andre Creary, Devon Thomas and little wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich, meanwhile, can produce good scores for HPC while towering pacer Jason Holder and the lively Shannon Gabriel present the fledgling side with pace options as they hunt only their second victory at this level in their fourth game.
Barbados twice scored totals in excess of 285 in the 2008 competition in Guyana but can expect be tested by an HPC unit which is brimming with confidence after winning all six of their matches on their tour to Dubai earlier this month, including a four- wicket win against the senior West Indies team.
The match is scheduled to bowl off at 9 am.
BARBADOS – Kenroy Williams (captain), Tino Best, Sulieman Benn, Rashidi Boucher, Carlos Brathwaite, Patrick Browne, Jonathan Carter, Ryan Hinds, Kyle Hope, Ashley Nurse, Dale Richards, Javon Searles, Dwayne Smith, Kevin Stoute.
HPC – Shamarh Brooks (captain), Rajendra Chandrika, Brandon Bess, Nkrumah Bonner, Kyle Corbin, Keron Cottoy, Andre Creary, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, Delorn Johnson, Kevin McLean, Veerasammy Permaul, Devon Thomas.