Regional 4-Day Tournament Round 5
ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Reigning champions and current leaders Barbados will have to strongly reverse recent history to keep their title defence on track, when they face Jamaica in the fifth round of the Regional 4-Day Tournament, starting on Friday at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica.
The Barbadians have lost their previous three matches against the Jamaicans, including twice at the match venue two years ago, although their previous victory was four years ago at the Frank Worrell Memorial Ground in Trinidad.
The visitors’ previous victory in Jamaica came seven years ago, when they prevailed by an innings and 31 runs, and they can lean on this, as well as their hosts’ defeat in the previous round of matches as motivation.
Second-placed Windward Islands, brimming with confidence following their stirring, seven-wicket victory over the Jamaicans in the previous round, will meet Leeward Islands at the Queen’s Park Stadium in St. George’s, Grenada.
Contests between the Windwards and Leewards are always compelling – and this should be another intriguing battle.
The last seven matches between the two sides have each produced a winner, with the Leewards holding a 4-3 edge.
The Leewards can also take confidence in the knowledge that they were triumphant on the previous three occasions they played in the Spice Isle in 2001, 2005 and 2008 – so the Windwards will have their work cut out to defend home soil.
There will be an extra-special reason for West Indies fans to follow the happenings in the day/night fixture between Trinidad & Tobago and Combined Campuses & Colleges at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
The match will mark the return of West Indies international Kieron Pollard to competitive action, following a six-month lay-off to recover from a knee injury, which required surgery to repair.
Pollard is known for his exploits in the shortest version of the game, but the 26-year-old harbours visions of one day playing Tests for West Indies. This match provides him with a platform not only to fortify the process of his physical rehabilitation, but also remind fans of his ability in a longer format.
For the record, he has played 24 first-class matches – all for T&T in the R4D – and has scored 1,421 runs at an average of 38.40. His tally includes three hundreds – with a top score of 174 against Barbados five years ago at Guaracara Park in Trinidad – and seven half-centuries.
On a broader scale, T&T were set back when the Barbadians crushed them in the previous round and will be looking to strongly rebound on home soil, where they have won twice already this season.
CCC is a side that T&T would relish playing to stay on course for a top-four finish, having beaten the visitors in their previous three meetings in the R4D.