Ed Hawkins previews Sunday's double header from Warner Park in the CPL with Trinbago finding form...
"Simmons, who smashed a top-bat on the head-to-head last time, is 11/4. We like the boost to 10/3 so will keep an eye out for updated prices"
St Lucia Kings v Trinbago Knight Riders
Sunday 29 August, 15:00
TV: live on BT Sport
Kings in trouble
Kings, last year's runners up, produced a stinker of an effort first time out, losing by a massive 120 runs to Tallawahs. Their reputation as one of the meanest units in the field is in tatters after conceding a massive 255 with some of the sloppiest work you will ever see.
What was perhaps most surprising was their selection. They used only two spinners against an outfit which loves pace on the ball. Rahkeem Cornwall didn't even bowl. Faf Du Plessis returned after concussion but was out first ball. The one bright spot was a fifty from Singaporean Tim David.
Possible XI: Cornwall, Fletcher, Du Plessis, Chase, Deyal, David, Paul, Wahab, Qadir, Williams, McCoy
Normal service resumed
Trinbago are back on track after opening-day defeat versus Guyana. They smashed Barbados, bowling them out for 122 and then chasing with relative ease thanks to classic knocks from Kieron Pollard and Denesh Ramdin.
Isuru Udana claimed the man of the match award for five wickets. But there will be a little bit of concern over the top order, which flopped again. Lendl Simmons is costing us with his price boosted for top bat and he's not looked made it into double figures yet.
Possible XI: Simmons, Narine, Munro, Seifert, Darren Bravo, Ramdin, Pollard, Udana, Hosein, Rampaul, Seales
Lucia runs a short
Trinbago are into 1.645/8, having tipped over into the 1.705/7 region against Barbados. That's more like it. The Kings are 2.486/4 and we're not likely to get involved even at those odds.
Normally at this point we'd caveat that sentence by saying 'but if they were chasing...'. No thanks. We're keep a watching brief on the bias for now. The same goes for the pitch with the first-innings average already dipping by seven runs.
Indeed, if St Lucia were to bat first going under 150 or more could be a cheap, low-risk lay considering the market is still keen on runs. St Lucia have only beaten TKR twice in their history. Sportsbook go 6/4 no first-innings fifty which will give off a warm fuzzy feel if Kings are put in.
We have a nice win on Pollard at 17/2 for top Trinbago bat against Barbados. He has been cut to 15/2. Simmons, who smashed a top-bat on the head-to-head last time, is 11/4. We like the boost to 10/3 so will keep an eye out for updated prices. Denesh Ramdin is a wrong price at 16/1, though, batting at No 5 and with one top-bat already.
For Kings, Du Plessis is 11/4 favourite. Cornwall and Andre Fletcher are 7/2 the pair. The latter has top-scored in the last two head-to-heads.
Warner Park data
Average first innings score last three years 173.6 (3125/18)
160+ first innings scores 13/19
Won by chaser 10/19
St Kitts & Nevis Patriots v Guyana Amazon Warriors
Sunday 29 August, 19:30
TV: live on BT Sport
Patriots are showing some power. They are two from two. They duffed up the Royals in their first game but, impressively, did the same to Guyana. The eight-wicket success was a marker.
Facing them again only two days later should give them an air of confidence. Peculiarly, they squeezed with pace. Both their spinners, Fawad Ahmed and Fabian Allen, were pricey.
Devon Thomas and Even Lewis put on 113 for the first wicket in a chase of 147. Easy. But there was no Chris Gayle, with an injury suspected.
Possible XI Thomas, Lewis, Asif Ali, Da Silva, Rutherford, Allen, Bravo, Drakes, Cottrell, van Meekeren, Fawad
Guyana need to reshuffle
There were real stinkers in the Guyana batting performance against Patriots. SHoaib Malik's 12-ball five perhaps the worst considering his experience. Shimron Hetmyer and Brandon King were not much fun either.
They need to sort their batting order out. As much fun as it is to take top-bat ricks on Odean Smith at No 3, it seems crazy for him to play there when Nic Pooran is wasted at No 7.
Possible XI King, Hemraj, Smith, Malik, Hetmyer, Hafeez, Pooran, Naveen, Nedd, Tahir, Smith
Runs drying up
Guyana are 1.9010/11 favourites with Patriots 2.0811/10. We're not sure we can get on board with that split and would reckon a choice affair would be more like it.
As for innings runs, the average has shot down from 180 pre tournament to 173.6. We'd be surprised if the surface was to get more true. It's about gauging when a good time is to start shorting the runs par line.
Patriots batting first might have been the ideal chance with Guyana spinners expected to tie them in knots but that didn't happen in the first meet.
Both teams to score 160 is 10/11 with Sportsbook. It has happened in the tournament yet which says a lot about the wicket.
Sportsbook have ironed out the ricks on the top bats. Mohammad Hafeez is in to 6s from 14s. Thomas into 10/3 from 5s. We were on both in the previous meeting and cannot believe we didn't get a winner. Hafeez had it in his pocket and yet fell a run short. Thomas made an unbeaten fifty.
Smith is 10/1 for top Guyana bat but we suspect they might abandon that experiment. Fabian Allen catches the eye for Patriots at 20s. He might bat at No 5.
Ed Hawkins P-L
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. Includes Hawk-Eye column p-l