Ed Hawkins previews the crucial match in the Caribbean Premier League play-off race from Kensington Oval on Sunday...
"We were on the Patriots in that game because we felt the pitch would be a great leveller for the bowling groups. The Patriots are notoriously leaky. But here the Zouks probably have the edge in terms of variation"
Barbados Tridents v St Lucia Zouks
Sunday 28 September 23.00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Tridents throw away chance
The Tridents are in must-win territory after defeat by one run against the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the early hours of Sunday. It was a harrowing loss that they will do well to recover from.
Chasing 150, the Tridents looked assured of victory, meaning one win from their final two would have been enough for a play-off spot. They were cruising at 85 for two with Shakib-al-Hasan and JP Duminy set. But they lost five wickets for 12. It went to the last over with Raymond Reifer timing the ball well but 12 proved too big an ask and the game was up when Reifer was out off the second ball.
There was another failure for Alex Hales, who scored 19 but at a ponderous rate. They seem reliant on that Shakib and Duminy axis at Nos 3 and 4 with the middle-order suspect. There is no Shai Hope, who has a finger injury.
Hayden Walsh, the American spinner, produced another solid display, though. He picked up another two wickets. Harry Gurney matched that and had an excellent economy rate.
Zouks finding form
The St Lucia Zouks put Jamaica Tallawahs out of their misery by ending their play-off hopes. A six-wicket win for the Zouks means they are in pole position to take the final qualification spot.
That they are still in the hunt says a lot for the quality of the league section. Zouks had been unreliability personified until they started to bring in replacements for their Sri Lanka contingent. Colin Ingram, Colin de Grandhomme and Hardus Viljoen have given them much better balance. Viljoen's all-round abilitis were key against the Tallawahs. He smashed a crucial 32 from 24.
The bowling group is getting stronger, too. Krishmar Santokie was tight and he can form a good partnership with Kesrick Williams, who can be relied upon for wickets.
Duminy bucks trend
This is the fifth 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: 149-1/192-1/127-1/128-2/136-1/195-1/158-1/135-2/165-2/151-2/128-2/147-2. The Patriots managed a par score last time on what is a tricky wicket. Around 150-160 is going to be very tough to chase.
Hists a bad price
The Tridents are 8/111.73 and the Zouks 6/52.22. That's a carbon copy of the odds for the Tridents-Patriots game. We're unsure as to why the market remains so keen on the hosts. It should have a healthy mistrust after their collapse.
We were on the Patriots in that game because we felt the pitch would be a great leveller for the bowling groups. The Patriots are notoriously leaky. But here the Zouks probably have the edge in terms of variation.
There is no justification for Tridents being so short. It's a terrible price and we have no choice but to have a gamble on the Zouks.
Justin Greaves biffed a 50 from the opening berth for Tridents when the sides last met. It resulted in an easy Tridents win. He is 8/1 with Sportsbook for top bat honours. It's way too big and his unlikely selection is irrelevant. Remember it's money back if your selection doesn't play. Hales is 10/3 but that's too short. Johnson Charles, his opening partner, looks big at 7/2. Sportsbook have made Hope 3/1 jolly but he is a major doubt. For Zouks, Rahkeem Cornwall probably deserves more respect than the 7/2 quote. Ingram is the 16/5 favourite.
Gurney still has appeal/h2>
We keep banging the Harry Gurney drum. He tied last time out for top Tridents bowler with Walsh. Gurney is 13/5, Walsh is 7/2.
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 Zouks 6/52.22 (1pt)