As the penultimate round of the Premier Division two-day competition bowls off today, the battle for the title is still very much alive.
Although PowerGen Penal, who won the league in 2009 and 2010, are leading the standings by 24 points, they have a tough encounter against Alescon Comets this weekend in a match that could play a crucial role in determining who will be competing for the crown in the final round next weekend.
Comets, who last won the two-day title in 2005, started the 2013 season at the head of the pack but recent results saw them slip to fifth place with 141 points, 42 behind the leaders.
The Central team, Comets, who just last season were in a battle to avoid relegation, are unbeaten so far this season with four wins and four draws but their upcoming assignment will put them to the test as they travel to Syne Village, Penal where the home team have been unstoppable.
PowerGen have three outright wins and a first innings victory at home and will have some of their senior players in their lineup as they try to firm up their grip on the title.
Evin Lewis, Nicholas Sookdeosingh, Kavesh Kantasingh and Sherwin Ganga are all available for the hosts who are without Jason Mohammed and Denesh Ramdin who are both on national duty with the Trinidad and Tobago team in Jamaica.
Missing from the Comets squad are all-rounder Imran Khan and batsman Steven Katwaroo who are also on national duty.
Moosai Sports, who are chasing their first major domestic title in over a decade, were set back by rain in the previous round which saw their match against Esmeralda abandoned without a ball bowled.
Now, 24 points behind PowerGen, they have to play it smart when they tackle Seenath’s Auto Bamboo Sports who could prove very tricky in home conditions at Bamboo Recreation Ground.
Moosai’s title hopes are still alive but they will have to secure either a first innings victory or an outright win this weekend if they are to make up ground on PowerGen, who they tackle at home in the final round of the tournament next weekend.
The other top contenders for the two-day crown are third placed First Citizens Clarke Road United (157 points) and defending champions Queen’s Park Cricket Club (153 points).
The Parkites still have an outside chance at winning their third consecutive two-day title.
They take on Esmeralda Sports at Esmeralda Recreation Ground today knowing that anything less than outright win will most likely put them out of the race.
The same can be said for Clarke Road United who are in action against Hafeez Karamath Limited Aranjuez Sports at Wilson Road in Penal.
The other match this weekend features Merry Boys and Caldrac Club at California, with both clubs close enough to the relegation zone to make the encounter a must-win for each team.
All matches start today at 10 a.m. and continue tomorrow from 9.30 a.m.
Premier Division fixtures
(All matches bowl off at 10 a.m. today)
Esmeralda vs QPCC, Esmeralda Recreation Ground
Clarke Road Utd vs Aranjuez Sports, Wilson Road
Seenath’s Auto Bamboo Sports vs Moosai Sports, Bamboo
Caldrac Club vs Merry Boys, Gilbert Park
PowerGen Penal vs Alescon Comets, Syne Village
Wanderers vs F&E Diamond Utd
Premier Division standings
Teams GP W L D Abd Pts
PowerGen Penal 9 5 0 4 0 183
Moosai Sports 9 4 0 4 1 159
Clarke Road Utd 9 3 0 6 0 157
QPCC 9 3 0 6 0 153
Alescon Comets 9 4 0 4 1 141
Bamboo Sports 9 3 4 1 1 115
Caldrac Club 9 3 3 3 0 108
Merry Boys 9 2 0 6 1 106
Esmeralda Sports 9 1 3 4 1 100
HKL Aranjuez 9 0 4 5 0 78
F&E Diamond Utd 9 1 6 1 1 53
*Wanderers 9 0 9 0 0 -90
(*NB: Wanderers defaulted their matches)