Ed Hawkins things the Caribbean Premier League leaders are a bet at Sabina Park early on Thursday...
"There’s 12 overs from Guyana's spinners which Jamaica are going to find very hard to get hold of"
Jamaica Tallawahs v Guyana Anazon Warriors
Thursday 19 September 01.00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Tallawahs break duck
The Tallawahs, finally, are up and running in the wins column. They beat Barbados Tridents last time out with a strong bat and ball performance. When they play like that, it's a wonder how they had previously lost four straight.
The key was spin. Light on international-class wizardy, George Worker and Zahir Khan, of New Zealand Afghanistan respectively, tied down the Tridents. It said a lot about Jamaica's previous imbalance. And maybe a bit, too, about the quality of the competition.
Also pleasing was a hit for Chadwick Walton, who has superb natural talent and should do more. He hit 51 from 42 and if he can fire then Chris Gayle and Glenn Phillips ahead of him make for a decent top three.
Andre Russell is still to come back in. He must be close to fitness after concussion. When he returns, the Tallawahs will look a different side.
Guyana have four wins from four but they are unlikely to be resting on their laurels for this one after what happened to Trinbago Knight Riders in St Kitts. That defeat means Guyana are the only team with a 100% record.
Last time out they brushed the Patriots aside with a powerful and clever display. Their bowling unit is the best in the tournament. Imran Tahir, Chris Green and Qais Ahmed are an extraordinary spin combination. They can play all three because of the rise of Romario Shepherd. The pacer has been excellent and there is no need, at the moment, for Ben Laughlin.
The top four are now all contributing. Brandon King has found his feet after Chandrapul Hemraj showed the way. Shimron Hetmyer and Nic Pooran are class acts to follow.
Record for big runs
The first-innings scores in the last two tournaments (1-2 denote match won by team batting first or second, most recent first) read: 140-2/267-1/170-2/149-2/157-1/208-1/172-2/178-1/175-2. It holds, too. The Tridents total of 140 last time was way below par, then. It could be a sign the pitch is getting slower after so much action in a short space of time.
Spin cheers Guyana
The Tallawahs are [2.28] with Guyana [1.83]. Do we take on the favourites?
Probably not. We were pleased that Tallawahs got up against the Patriots for two reasons. Firstly, it ensured the market would still be swayed by some of their big names. Secondly, the manner of the success. As we said, spin was crucial.
It's not great news for the Tallawahs that the wicket could help spinners. Particularly Guyana's trio. There's 12 overs from Guyana which Jamaica are going to find very hard to get hold of. That means Guyana are worth a bet.
Guyana normally have six appeal at big odds against so we were tempted by the 8/5 (Sportsbook) in a match bet with the Tallawahs. But as is often the case, poor teams have to hit sixes. The good ones don't. Jamaica have hit 67 this season in one game more compared to Guyana's 29. Hasn't done them much good, has it?
Russell worth a gamble
Gayle gets a 21/10 quote from Sportsbook for top Jamaica bat. It is still value for how often he wins. But we like Phillips, too, at 4s. The data is not on his side but, buoy, does Pooran look a big price at 11/2. There is a spot of value in the top bowler market. Russell may or may not bowl but the 8/1 is surely worth a nibble considering his record. He should be way shorter.
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