With Pakistan and the West Indies moving on to their three-match Test series starting on Friday in Jamaica, and the West Indies Cricket Board’s Professional League of four day matches winding up with Guyana Jaguars third-year-in-a-row champions, the West Indies women cricketers are entering the competitive fray and with eyes on the main prize in June’s 24th to July 23rd ICC Women’s World Cup to be played in England.
The West Indies are reigning World T20 champions, They are drawn to play current defending World Cup or 50-overs game champions Australia in their opening match in England on June 26 in Taunton.
But the immediate focus for the Windies women is their 50-over championship begininng in St Vincent and the Grenadines on Thursday – TT versus Barbados first round in Sion Hill. Guyana, Jamaica, Leeward and Windward Islands are the other TT opponents.
The TT Red Force team meanwhile look set to earn a draw in their current 10th and final match in the Professional League Championship and stay fifth on the six-team final table headed by Guyana Jaguars who defeated the fifth-placed Windward Islands Volcanoes by an innings and 122 runs in their ninth round fixture at the Guyana National Stadium in Providence.
The Jaguars rolled to an uncatchable 131.4 points with one match still to play against bottom team Leeward Islands Hurricanes.
And it’s the Hurricanes in current opposition to TT Red Force who enter today’s fourth and last day’s play of their final match still seeing the Hurricanes in their first innings of 273 for 6 replying to their 523 in which Yanick Cariah topped with 196 and Tion Webster contributed 109.
Rain interrupted play a couple times at Warner Park St Kitts yesterday while leg-spinner Imran Khan took five of the six wickets to fall.
Whatever the outcome of the Kensington Oval Barbados battle betwen current second=placed Barbados Pride and Jamaica Scorpions who need 227 more runs to win with nine wickets intact, the Guyana Jaguars are clear as champions.
The Selection Panel of the West Indies Cricket Board meanwhile yesterday named a 13-member squad for the first Test against Pakistan which will be an historic 50th to be played at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica.
Pacer Shannon Gabriel is the lone TT national in the squad which comprises 6 players from Barbados in Jason Holder (Captain), Kraigg Braithwaite, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shai Hope and Shane Dowrich, three from Guyana in Devendra Bishoo, Vishal Singh and Shimron Hetmyer, one Hamaican Jermaine Blackwood, Antiguan Alzarri Joseph and Nevisian Kieran Powell.
Pakistan’s pre-Test prep match against a West Indies President’s XI at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium in Jamaica, left them battered and bloodied, as the President’s XI made 419 all out, then bowled the Pakistanis out for 192 before batting again at 152 for 2 in a drawn game.
Vishaul Singh, 135, Hetmyer, 97, and Powell, 58 feasted on the Pakistanis bowling.
Ahmed Shehzad (55) and Sarfraz Ahmed (50). batted best for Pakistan who beat the West Indies 3-1 in the tour-opening T20 series and 2-1 in the one-day internationals.