Ed Hawkins previews the Caribbean Premier League clash from Kensington Oval early on Sunday as the play-off race approaches the finish...
"We've not been keen on their bowling all tournament. The variation isn't there and with Sheldon Cottrell out of form, potency too"
Barbados Tridents v St Kitts & Nevis Patriots
Sunday 28 September 01.00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Hales could be axed
The Tridents are buzzing after they thrashed the holders, Trinbago Knight Riders, by 63 runs to leave them sitting pretty for a qualification spot. They have two games in hand of the St Lucia Zouks but the pair meet on Sunday and they can qualify with a win.
Against Trinbago they were powered by two extraordinary performances. JP Duminy broke the record for the fastest tournament 50, his 65 came from just 20 balls and included seven sixes. Legspinner Hayden Walsh then claimed five wickets as Trinbago were bowled out for just 129.
The upshot is probably bad news for Alex Hales, who was demoted from opening to bat at No 4. With American Walsh taking an overseas spot, Harry Gurney an important death bowler and Duminy undroppable it would make sense to axe Hales for Shakib-al-Hasan who has joined the squad as a replacement for Sandeep Lamichhane.
Patriots bowlers suffer
Defeat for the Patriots in their last group came could leave them in danger of missing out on the top four. The Zouks and Tridents could both overtake them at the last.
The loss to the Zouks last time out could be damaging, then. Needing 166, they could muster only 145 as their openers failed to fire. Devon Thomas, who has had a great season, scored nine off 13, Evin Lewis ten off 14. That left Laurie Evans and Mohammad Hafeez under pressure. Patriots never recovered from such a dull start.
We've not been keen on their bowling all tournament. The variation isn't there and with Sheldon Cottrell out of form, potency too. Cottrell isn't in the team at the moment. With a tournament economy rate of 8.8, they are struggling. Trinbago and Jamaica are more expensive but the figure is still too high.
Duminy bucks trend
This is the fourth match to be played at the Kensington Oval this term. The first-innings scores (1-2 denote match won by team batting first or second, most recent first) now read: 192-1/127-1/128-2/136-1/195-1/158-1/135-2/165-2/151-2/128-2/147-2. Tridents bucked the low-scoring trend with that assault from Duminy. It was only the third score of more than 160 in the study period.
Hosts shaky at odds
The Tridents are 1.738/11 and the Patriots 2.285/4. It's hard to reckon the hosts are value at those odds, even with the confidence the win over Trinbago brings.
It is true they have better balance and bowlers than the Patriots, but the pitch could be a leveller in that regard. The visitors need some assistance from the pitch to hide their lack of skill. On something flatter, they will probably be exposed.
Duminy's innings was an outlier given the clutch of scores over the last three tournaments. We would expect something in line with the first-innings average of 152. If Patriots were to bowl first and keep Patriots to eight an over, they will fancy their chances in a chase given their hitting is a strength.
Little to beat
Duminy is having a belter of a tournament and there's nothing wrong with the 16/5 (Sportsbook) that he cops again particularly as he is secure in his position in the order. Hales at 10/3 is a bad price with him shunted down to No 4. Shakib is also vastly overrated, in terms of how often he wins in this market, at 3s. He's an ODI bet, not a T20 one and he has a career hit rate of fewer than ten per cent. For Patriots, Thomas has lost his touch. He has six consecutive single-figure scores now after a purple patch. As opener, though, he's probably not a 4/1 chance.
Gurney could go well/h2>
We were on Gurney for top Tridents bowler against Trinbago but he was an over short because of Walsh's effort. That's always crucial for a death bowler's wicket column. With Sportsbook still making Lamichhane 15/5 jolly - he won't play - there's an argument for taking the 13/5.
Ed Hawkins P-L
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. New points system (0.5pt-5) introduced for 2017. Includes Hawk-Eye stats column p-l
Back Patriots 2.285/4 (1pt)