Guyana Amazon Warriors v Trinbago Knight Riders
Thursday 26 August 15.00
TV: live on BT Sport
Before a ball has been bowled second-favourites Guyana have an advantage. They are the only franchise not to have lost players to late withdrawals.
Could this be their year? Five times they have finished runners-up. But last term they failed to make the final as batting frailties were brutally exposed.
Mohammad Hafeez and the returning Shoaib Malik could solve that but Brandon king and Chandrapaul Hemraj need to rediscover 2019 form after disappointing returns last year.
Experience on turning wickets could be crucial as Warner Park - the only tournament venue - gets slower and in that regard Guyana get another tick. Naveen-ul-Haq aside, their pace-bowling options look dodgy.
Probable XI Hemraj, King, Hafeez, Hetmyer, Pooran, Malik, Shepherd, Sinclair, Naveen, O Smith, Tahir
Trinbago's best-laid plans to defend their title are in ribbons. Brendon McCullum, the coach, has pulled out while evolutionary signing Sandeep Lamichhane is a withdrawal. Sikandar Raza is also a loss. Yasir Shah and Isuru Udana are like-for-like options.
But if any team can cope it is Trinbago who were utterly dominant last season, topping the batting ranks and coming in second on bowling economy. They are on a 12-game winning streak.
It is possible that even late team changes and one tournament venue (wearing pitch and toss bias) brings them closer to the pack they may still have far too much. Dwayne Bravo's departure to Patriots is also an issue.
The balance of their XI is good and how they line up will be interesting. Does Sunil Narine open the batting with Lendl Simmons or will it be Colin Munro or Tim Seifert?
Possible XI Narine, Simmons, Munro, Bravo, Pollard, Ramdin, Udana, Pierre, Hosein, Seales, Yasir
Warner Park is a road. In the last three tournament years ten out of 12 first-innings have busted 160 or more. Patriots and Guyana tied with 216 and the former chased 241 versus Jamaica. The run rate in the study period is 8.7.
Sportsbook go 11/10 that both teams score 160 or more. For bigger numbers, 21/10 is available for 170 or more and 16/5 for 180 or more. The runs par line is likely to be set at the 165.5 mark. Backing more than 200 is a good option at odds up from 4.003/1.
Warriors value in chase
Eight of those 12 matches have been won by the chaser. On that basis this should be a choice affair so you could make a case that Guyana are value pre-toss at 2.206/5 once the market settled. Trinbago are 1.728/11.
If that latter price is powerful, we could choice affair with Guyana chasing. However, it pays to be patient and with the wicket flat we can expect bigger in-play. Keep fingers crossed the flip goes our way and look for 2.305/4 or better on Guyana.
Simmons is a decent bet for top Trinbago bat at 10/3 with Sportsbook after a price boost. He is the only Trinbago batter priced out of line with his two-year win rate (31.8%) and boasts three of the top-eight high scores at the venue.
Brandon King also looks chunky at 10/3. He has been winning at a rate of 30% in the last two years and should enjoy the flatter surface at Warner Park. He strikes at 161 there. An average of 16 against Trinbago means we have to be careful with stakes, however.
Both men are likely to be well-backed for top tournament run scorer. Simmons is joint-second favourite at 7/1 with Glenn Philips of Barbados. Simmons and Philips were Nos 1 and 2 last year. King, who is 8/1, pipped Simmons in 2019.
In terms of runs per innings as openers in the last two years, Simmons (34.8) and Philipps (31.5) have little to beat. King's average of 26.6 took a hit last year.
The big price that interests is Faf Du Plessis at 14/1. Du Plessis, according to coach Andy Flower, should be fit from ball one after a prolonged period out with concussion. He is 14/1 with Sportsbook. Having opened in IPL, Du Plessis could be a huge runner with an average under study terms of 33.3.
Ed has more tips and insight on the CPL in the latest episode of Cricket...Only Bettor