Ed Hawkins has fears over short-priced favourites Trinbago at the Kensington Oval on Thursday night in the Caribbean Premier League...
"Despite TKR's good record this season and having won three of the last four titles, there have been major doubts about their ability to keep it tight in the field"
Barbados Tridents v Trinbago Knight Riders
Thursday 26 September, 23:00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Shakib bolsters Tridents
A record of two wins in six and a second-from-bottom standing in the section sounds grim for Barbados Tridents. But they're not concerned. They're in a mini league of mediocrity with the St Lucia Zouks and Jamaica Tallawahs and they are bang in the race for a knockout spot.
Good news, then, that they have added two quality players this week. Shakib-al-Hasan, the Bangladesh all-rounder, has replaced Sandeep Lamichhane. Lamichhane has been excellent but he has international commitments. Harry Gurney has also been added to the squad giving them a much-needed pace option after Dan Christian pulled out.
Although the loss of Lamichhane is a blow, on balance Tridents are probably stronger because of Shakib's ability with bat and ball. All they need now is a contribution from Alex Hales, who has been poor.
Last time out against Jamaica Tallawahs they were desperately disappointing with the bat, failing to chase 127. They had been cruising at 73 for three. Unforgivable.
Jordan comes in for Trinbago
Trinbago have also been busy adding to their squad after a departure. Chris Jordan, the England seamer, has joined after Muhammad Hasnain was recalled by Pakistan.
It's a good switch. Hasnain has taken six wickets in four games but his economy rate has been poor. He was going for just shy of 10 an over. Jordan could potentially solve a significant problem in the field for Trinbago.
Despite their good record this season and having won three of the last four titles, there have been major doubts about their ability to keep it tight in the field. They have bowled 100 overs this tournament and are conceding an average of nine runs per over.
Now, given that they and Guyana are so dominant it might not be a big deal because they can still win the tournament with one good day in the final, likely against the Warriors, but they have the potential for slip ups in the remaining group games.
Tricky for batters
This is the third 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: 127-1/128-2/136-1/195-1/158-1/135-2/165-2/151-2/128-2/147-2. Batting has been tricky then this season. Given Trinbago's leaky efforts in the field they will probably be grateful it's not a road.
Tridents have a sniff
The Knight Riders are [1.53], a very short price indeed given their bowling frailties. It's relatively simple, then, to come to the conclusion that the Tridents have some value in them at [2.50].
But they're going to have to get big performances from gun players like Hales, JP Duminy and Shakib. And that's the nature of an upset. It's an unknown whether two of those three can combine.
With Trinbago they have a litany of players who consistently put their hands up from the Munros, the Simmons', the Narines, the Pollards. So keep stakes sensible and you may event want to trade a position if the hosts get a foothold.
Take risk on Gurney
With no Lamichhane and Christian, 11/4 and 4/1 respectively with Sportsbook, Gurney could be value at 10/3 for top Tridents bowler. Problem is, he should be marginally bigger on career form while he had 16 per cent hit rate in this year's Blast. The answer is to cut a usual one-point stake in half for an interest. Only Jason Holder should threaten him.
Munro a wager
Colin Munro is back in action for Trinbago and although the 11/4 about him top batting doesn't float our boat considering he's at No 3, we might play him for more than 23.5 runs at 4/5 with Sportsbook. Munro has always been dangerous in this competition, averaging 36.8 runs per innings (not outs included as a completed innings). He has a career average of 25.6 runs per innings. That's an edge in our favour.
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