Barbados eye successful defence of crown against Volcanoes

Saturday, February 24, 2018

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ST JOHN'S, Antigua (CMC) — A confident Barbados Pride will be eyeing a successful defence of their Regional Super50 title, while Windward Islands Volcanoes will be targeting their first success in five years when they meet in the final at Coolidge Cricket Ground here today.

While Pride have been steady throughout the tournament, Volcanoes have struck form at the back end and will be extremely dangerous opponents in the day/night affair which bowls off at 2 pm.

Both teams are familiar with each other, having emerged from Group A staged in Bridgetown, with Pride topping the standings and Volcanoes finishing second.

Pride Head Coach Emmerston Trotman told CMC Sports that though his side was confident; they were also very wary of the threat posed by their opponents.

“The guys are confident, they're having fun and they're looking forward to tomorrow's (today's) game. They're prepared and have been having some good fun planning and the mood is good,” he said.

Pride secured their berth in the final when they despatched of Kent Spitfires by 13 runs under Duckworth/Lewis in Wednesday's first semi-final.

Despite having lost as many as seven key players because of senior team duties with West Indies in Zimbabwe and Windies 'A' in the England Lions series, Pride have remained a formidable unit, with the likes of Captain Kraigg Brathwaite and Roston Chase showcasing their quality with a hundred and a half-century, respectively, in the semi-final.

Volcanoes' run, meanwhile, has been somewhat of a fairy tale. They lost their first three matches of the preliminaries before bouncing back to win their last five and reach the final four.

They were at their most aggressive in Thursday's semi-final when they clinically dismantled Guyana Jaguars by 52 runs, and Head Coach Andre Coley said his side were prepared for the challenge of the title-holders.

“Last year's competition, has no bearing on this year's competition and we decided early up we wanted to play our brand of cricket,” he told CMC Sports.

“Yes, we were off to a slow start but in the main we have actually played the way we wanted to play, and we are looking forward to another good contest.

“Barbados… have lost a few players to international tours but they're still a good side and any team can win on the day, especially in limited-overs cricket,” Coley said.

Much of the batting responsibility will rest on veteran opener Devon Smith, Theophile, Kavem Hodge and Kyle Mayers, all of whom have been among the runs at some stage.

Captain Shane Shillingford, the former West Indies off-spinner, leads the attack, with Hodge expected to play a key role with his left-arm spin.

SQUADS:

BARBADOS PRIDE – Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Joshua Bishop, Jonathan Carter, Roston Chase, Dominic Drakes, Keon Harding, Chemar Holder, Aaron Jones, Omar Phillips, Shamar Springer, Kevin Stoute, Tevyn Walcott, Hayden Walsh Jr, Kenroy Williams

VOLCANOES – Shane Shillingford (captain), Roland Cato, Johnson Charles, Kirk Edwards, Larry Edward, Kavem Hodge, Ryan John, Kyle Mayers, Obed McCoy, Devon Smith, Tyrone Theophile, Josh Thomas, Alick Athanaze

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