St Lucia Kings v Barbados Royals
Saturday 11 September 15.00
Live on Betfair & BT Sport
St Lucia what have you done? The team which had discovered its mojo and looked to be powering towards the title have lost two on the spin, chucking in stinkers against Guyana and the Tallawahs.
Perhaps we shouldn't have been surprised by the latter. Tallawahs smashed their bowling in the previous meeting so a repeat was always on the cards. The 212 chase was on, though, albeit briefly. Two wickets in the ninth stymied their rollicking start.
Probable XI Fletcher, Du Plessis, Deyal, Chase, Samit Patel, David, Wiese, Alleyne, Joseph, Royal, Williams
Royals' hopes of qualification are almost certainly over after defeat by Trinbago. And the manner of the defeat suggests that a semi-final pace for them would be something of a farce anyway. They were outclassed.
They have been unable to maintain form over an innings, let alone a tournament. Their one strength is taking wickets with the new ball but batting frailties have been consistently exposed.
Possible XI Mayers, Charles, Smit Patel, Reifer, Philips, Azam, Holder, Young, Bishop, Lintott, Amir
Short Royals runs
Kings are 1.608/13 on an early show. That's way too skinny for us to consider getting involved. That's the price of a team which won its last two rather than one which disappeared under pressure.
The ploy here is a runs wager. If Royals bat first, the Kings should rediscover their on-field temperament and squeeze. Anything under 145.5 is a bet. Royals got shot for 93 versus TKR.
Mark Deyal copped nicely at 14s for Kings versus Tallawahs. It was a wager based purely on him being priced wrongly on batting order. What have we got this time? Well Deyal has now been cut to 5s so that opportunity is closed. Faf Du Plessis may be of interest at a boosted 3/1. For Royals Raymon Reifer is no 25s chance considering he batted at No 4 last time.
Jamaica Tallawahs v Guyana Amazon Warriors
Saturday 11 September 19.30
TV: live on Betfair, BT Sport
Tallawahs in form
Tallawahs have put together two big wins. One against the Kings and another against the Patriots. It puts qualification in their own hands, in no small part to a run rate boost after destroying the Kings bowling.
They face a trial by spin, here, though. Anyone who has seen them falter against Trinbago should know that you take as much pace off as possible to nullify a batting attack that likes to swing through the line.
Possible XI K Lewis, McKenzie, Brooks, Powell, Brathwaite, Russell, Haider, Imad, Pretoirus, Green, Permaul
Guyana hanging in
Guyana have bucked up, too. A 17-run success against kings rescued their campaign following a potentially-disastrous defeat by the Royals.
They now need to get their match-ups going against Tallawahs. Gudakesh Motie spinning the ball away from the Jamaica right-handers is key. Ashmead Need might be a good pick to do the same. In total the probable XI below could bowl 20 overs of spin. They won't but Tallawahs will sweat about a lack of pace.
Probable XI King, Hemraj, Hafeez, Hetmyer, Shoaib Malik, Pooran, O Smith, Shepherd, Motie, Naveen, Tahir
Spin key here
Guyana, in tournaments past, would never be a choice pick against the Tallawahs. We'd be lucky to get 1.758/11. But it's understandable this year given their flaky efforts.
On match-ups they really should take Tallawahs down for a nice winner at 2.01/1. But instead the safest wager could be to short Jamaica's runs even on the runs par line in the low 160s or on the innings runs. They are unlikely to hit with the same freedom as against Kings.
Andre Russell's price has collapsed from 10s two games ago to 4/1 with Sportsbook. He has copped once in the tournament. For Guyana we note Shepherd's price of 40/1. He is a candidate for promotion and he can really tonk it.
Trinbago Knight Riders v St Kitts & Nevis Patriots
Sunday 12 September 00.00
TV: live on Betfair, BT Sport
Stalemate is short
As the group stage comes to a close we have a familiar story. Trinbago are favourites to win the title. Sportsbook go 5/2 with Patriots next best at 11/4. Kings price has taken a hit to 10/3.
Trinbago have quietly been putting a formidable run together and it's now three wins on the spin. They have dispensed with Denesh Ramdin and abandoned Sunil Narine as opener to do it, however.
Possible XI Simmons, Webster, Munro, D Bravo, Pollard, Seifert, Narine, Hosein, Pierre, Seales, Rampaul
Patriots have gone the opposite way as late squad withdrawals, finally, seem to have sought up with them. It's now three-successive defeats.
Evin Lewis seems to have lost his form at the wrong time and the return of Chris Gayle hasn't helped. They even lost confidence in the chase last time out against Tallawahs.
Possible XI E Lewis, Thomas, Gayle, De Silva, Bopara, Drakes, Allen, McCarthy, van Meekeren, Jaggesar, Fawad
Holders too strong
The 1.748/11 about Trinbago, last year's winners, is not the worst price in the world. We wouldn't have been at all surprised to see them go below 1.705/7.
That they haven't is probably down to that Patriots' fast start. They are yet to meet this year and if Patriots think things have been tough in their last three, they might not have seen anything yet.
Few prices stick out on the tops bats apart from Kieron Pollard at 6s. He's had a quiet tournament but his average 49 and strike rate of 144 against the Patriots suggests Trinbago should get him to the crease as soon as possible.