Jaguars skipper points to hard work
Captain of newly-crowned champions Guyana Jaguars, Leon Johnson, has outlined virtually working overtime as one of the key ingredients as to why his team was able to cop a fourth straight hold on the Cricket West Indies-Digicel Four-day Championship title at the weekend.
Guyana, who before 2012 had to deal with Jamaica wrapping up five straight titles, put claim to the title after scoring a nail-biting two wickets win over Jamaica Scorpions in return-leg at Sabina Park.
"It feels good to be champions once again,'' said Johnson, who along with his team-mates rushed onto the field after spinner Veerasammy Permaul hit the winning run in their chase of 136 for victory.
The Esuan Crandon-conditioned unit ended on 136 for eight after Jamaica in their second innings had posted 212. The Scorpions made 106 in their first time at bat to which the Jaguars replied with 183.
"It was another good season for us, as after defeating Jamaica in our opening match at home, we showed constant improvement. This is testament to the long hours of hard work, which we put during the off-season and in pre-season training,'' he added.
Guyana, who for most of the season, in addition to Johnson, featured several West Indies players, including batsmen Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Ravendra Chandrika and Vishaul Singh, spinner Veerasammy Permaul, and fast bowling all-rounder Raymon Reifer, has so far recorded six wins from eight matches.
This is with two rounds of matches to go, and according to the 30 year-old Johnson, who has represented the West Indies in nine Tests and six one-day internationals, their intentions are to win their remaining matches, and finish the season on a high.
"We will be celebrating hard, as we believe we deserve it,'' he said. "However, after that our aim will be to finish strongly in our final two matches."
Guyana will play away to Barbados Pride this weekend in their penultimate fixture, before closing out the season at home against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force a week later.
Jamaica, with a record of two wins, four defeats and two draws, will host the Leeward Islands Hurricanes this weekend before travelling away to face Barbados Pride a week later.