… Permaul, Smith feature in the top-10 bowlersBy Clifton RossWITH the 2020 Regional 4-Day tournament at the half-way stage, defending champions Guyana Jaguars have been making individual strides as a number of their players top the stats in both the batting and bowling charts. Round 5 bowls off today with three matches and looking at the top-performers to date, the Jags despite being in second place have still managed to make an impact in both departments; as a number of their stars were able to break into the top-10 ranks for bowlers and batsmen.With hundreds seemingly hard to come by this year, Jaguars batsmen have failed to register a triple-digit score to date. Despite three of their batsmen being featured in the top-10 run-getters list following the end of 4 rounds, it is likely that they could wrap up the season among the top overall performers.All-rounder Chris Barnwell, who has been one of Jags best batsmen since the Super50 last year, leads with 265 runs from the 4 rounds played. The ex-West Indies T20 all-rounder hit 2 half-centuries with a top score of 82 and currently sits in 5th place for the most runs scored to date.Sixth place goes to gritty opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul who comes in a run behind his teammate with 264 points. Chanderpaul has crafted three 50-plus scores and averages a healthy 44.00 but will need to up his strike rate as he advances., Veerasammy PermaulThe last Guyanese to feature in the top-10 is left-hander Chandrapaul Hemraj who currently owns the number 8 position. The Windies Test opener has a pair of fifties to his name and with his record of more than 600 runs under his belt a few seasons ago; he could easily end this season as one of the leading run-getters for his country and possibly the League.Meanwhile, tournament table-leaders Barbados Pride also occupy the number one spot with regard to batting, as middle-order batsman Kyle Mayers sits comfortably with 361 runs, averaging a whopping 60 with four half-centuries and a hundred.While the batting has been mixed, Jaguars basically own the bowling department with the wily Veerasammy Permaul bagging truckloads of wickets as the rounds progress.The left-arm spinner sits comfortably at the top of the hill with 26 victims with a best of 6-50 from 4 games. The Guyanese is followed by second place Akeal Hosein (20 wickets) of the Trinidad Red Force as the only two bowlers, most notably spinners with more than 20 wickets so far.Permaul,, who currently averages a stingy 11.57, crossed the 500-wicket mark a few rounds ago, and is one of 2 bowlers (Barbados Pride pacer Chemar Holder 3rd place 19 wickets), who have 10-wicket hauls this season.Arguably one of the fastest and more effective pacers this season, newbie Niall Smith is Guyana’s next best bowler behind Permaul in 4th place with 18 wickets including two 5-wicket hauls with a best of 5-87. Jags senior pacer Keon Joseph missed the top-10 ranking, coming in at 11th place with 11 wickets.The race for the best individual performers is the next best thing to winning the championship and given the slight equilibrium with top performers in both departments, Jaguars will not only be aiming for their 6th title but also having a number of their players finish in the upper ranks of the runs/wickets contributors; over the course of the remaining 5 rounds.
The Wisconsin volleyball team has had its share of ups and downs this season. The Badgers are 16-13 overall and sport a 4-12 record in the Big Ten.But the Badgers will look to send off its three seniors – Alexis Mitchell, Mary Ording and Bailey Reshel – with victories this weekend, when the three seniors will be honored for Senior Day at the Field House.The Badgers are looking to improve upon a string of rough matches last weekend in which they fell to Michigan and Michigan State by scores of 3-0. Those losses took UW’s skid to five straight, the longest such streak of the season. “I thought there were some times when we were doing some good things,” head coach Pete Waite said. “But the challenge is just to stay in it until the end and finish off. We got to about 20 points each time, but we need to close the door and fight even harder to finish.”The Badgers first face Iowa (10-19, 2-14 Big Ten) Friday night. The Hawkeyes have lost 10 straight matches, including eight in a row by a score of 3-0.Wisconsin has controlled the all-time series with Iowa, especially in Madison, where the Badgers are 23-9 all-time against the Hawkeyes. UW won the first meeting between the two teams earlier this season, a hard-fought 3-2 win.Iowa is led by sophomore outside hitter Alex Lovell, who leads the team with 3.17 kills per set, and junior outside hitter Rachael Bedell also adds 3.01 kills per set. Junior setter Nikki Dailey leads the team in assists (9.39 per set) and also in service aces (24).Iowa is the only unranked opponent left on the schedule for Wisconsin, making it crucial for the Badgers to earn the win Friday.“I think it’s important to beat them, not only for momentum, but for ourselves,” senior middle blocker Alexis Mitchell said. “It’s more important to beat a team we know we can beat, and beat them on our home court.”Sunday’s match will be a much tougher test for the Badgers, as ninth-ranked Nebraska comes to Madison.The Cornhuskers (20-5, 12-4) have won two consecutive matches after dropping two in a row to Michigan and Michigan State. Earlier this season, Nebraska dominated the Badgers in Lincoln by a score of 3-0.Nebraska is led by senior outside hitter Gina Mancuso, who leads the team with 3.44 kills per set and service aces with 28. Senior outside hitter Hannah Werth also adds 2.89 kills per set and is tops on the team with 3.28 digs per set.Senior setter Lauren Cook averages 10.95 assists per set while ranking second on the team with 2.89 digs per set. Waite said he is hoping for a stronger effort from his team its second time out against one of the Big Ten’s top squads.“We need to have a more balanced attack,” Waite said. “We had a couple people get good numbers, and a couple others didn’t. If we ball handle well and run the offense correctly, then we’ll balance the attack a little better and make it tougher for them.”Friday night will be Senior Night as the Badgers conclude their final home weekend series of the season (UW’s final home match comes against Minnesota Wednesday night).Many of the players’ families will be in attendance, something Mitchell said will add to the atmosphere.“It’s not our last match here so that will help [with emotions],” Mitchell said. “But with having our families here, and the fact that they’re recognizing us will make it pretty emotional.”