Harpy Eagles, Scorpions boosted by return of Test stars
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):
Guyana Harpy Eagles have been strengthened further for their fourth round clash with bottom-of-the-table Jamaica Scorpions, as they take aim at their first West Indies Championship title in three seasons.
The unbeaten hosts enter the penultimate round on 49 points, a lead of nearly 12 points over the second placed Windward Islands Volcanoes, who clash with Leeward Islands Hurricanes at the Brian Lara Stadium.
Harpy Eagles will be bolstered by the Test pair of left-hander Tagenarine Chanderpaul and left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie, both having recently featured for West Indies on the Test tour of South Africa.
Chanderpaul, the son of Test legend Shivnarine Chanderpaul, has been in excellent form of recent, scoring a Test double hundred away to Zimbabwe.
Motie took 19 wickets in that two-Test series and will be a massive addition to an already potent Harpy Eagles attack.
Harpy Eagles, unbeaten for the campaign, enter the contest against Scorpions at the Guyana National Stadium high on confidence especially after crushing Trinidad and Tobago Red Force by 143 runs in the last round.
Winless Scorpions, with two defeats in three outings, have also received a boost with the inclusion of Test vice-captain and marquee batsman Jermaine Blackwood.
Barbados Pride, meanwhile, have suffered a late blow with the withdrawal of Test captain Kraigg Brathwaite.
He was initially named in the squad to face Red Force at Queen's Park Oval but has since been replaced by uncapped 20-year-old left-hander Rashawn Worrell.
Still, Pride will welcome the return of fast bowler Akeem Jordan and West Indies left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican.
Jordan, Pride's leading wicket-taker, was a member of the Test squad in South Africa but did not feature in either of the two Tests.
Red Force, still without a win in the tournament, have been lifted by the inclusion of Test wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva and West Indies speedster A