Keen interest still in final two Regional 4-Day matches starting today

Rahkeem Cornwall

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – There is still more than just passing interest with the final two Regional 4-Day matches in the West Indies Championship, starting today here and in Trinidad and Tobago.

With Guyana Jaguars having finished their schedule of matches for the season’s last round and accumulated 154.2 points – they have practically claimed the Headley/Weekes Trophy, symbol of West Indies first-class supremacy, for a fifth straight season.

The Jags are 23 points clear of Leeward Islands Hurricanes, their nearest rivals, who still have a mathematical chance of clinching the title, as they prepare to face a star-studded Barbados Pride at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.

At the same time – Trinidad & Tobago Red Force and Jamaica Scorpions will be aiming to finish the season strongly when they meet at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy.

The Hurricanes, however, face the highly improbable, if not impossible task of gaining the absolute maximum 24 points against the Pride to be able to surpass Jaguars to take home their fifth West Indies first-class title for the first time since they shared with the Jags 21 years ago.

It would take miraculously spectacular batting and bowling from Hurricanes to gain all the points left on the table and pip Jaguars for the title by just – one point.

And, the Hurricanes should not be ruled out, as they have the batting and bowling to get the job done, plus they are playing their best in almost a decade, are on familiar turf and beat the Pride in their first match at the start of the season last December, so they would relish a season sweep.

There are also a few personal landmarks that could be accomplished by players on both sides in this contest:

Hurricanes off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall needs six wickets for 200 in the Championship and 84 runs to complete the double of 500 runs and 50 wickets for the season,

Pride and Windies opener Kraigg Brathwaite requires 117 to become the 21st batsman overall and the sixth from Barbados to score more than 4 000 career runs in the Championship,

Pride’s Jonathan Carter needs 23 runs to join veteran Windward Islands Volcanoes left-handed opener Devon Smith in the 700-run club for the season and 80 to reach 4 000 first-class career runs,

Veteran Hurricanes pair of Devon Thomas and Montcin Hodge require 47 and 53 respectively, to also become members of the 700-run club for the season, and Hurricanes batsman Keacy Carty has 515 runs and needs 85 to reach 600 runs for the season.