Ed Hawkins fears for the visitors at Sabina Park in the early hours of Friday...
"We have highlighted the Tallwahs’ lack of bowling strength previously. They are one-dimensional in terms of the pace on offer and are short of international spin class"
Jamaica Tallawahs v St Lucia
Friday 13 September, 01:00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Tallawahs need to improve
The Tallawahs have lost their opening two matches and the manner of their latest defeat damages confidence. For them. For us. They batted brilliantly against St Kitts & Nevis Patriots, walloping a record Caribbean Premier Leguue total. They then bowled with record-levels of stupidity.
Who'd have thunk it for a Chris Gayle franchise, eh? Galye's teams are almost always overloaded with batting talent and not enough bowling nous. And it showed against the Patriots. Gayle was in the mood with 116 from 62 balls as they amassed 241. To a man the Tallawahs then bowled appallingly as Patriots chased with seven balls to spare.
We have highlighted the Tallwahs' lack of bowling strength previously. They are one-dimensional in terms of the pace on offer and are short of international spin class. Most of their budget seems to have gone on Gayle as they are at least one overseas bowler shy.
The Zouks have lost their first two matches, which is about par for a team which has a best finish of fourth. In fairness, though, they couldn't have had a tougher start with trips to Guyana Amazon Warriors and Trinbago Knight Riders.
Against Knight Riders they would have reckoned they were bang in the game at the break. They posted a more than competitive 167 and there were contributions from each of their top five. They then ran into Lendl Simmons in superb touch.
Still, the squad is weak and they are surely going to struggle to post totals which a bowling line-up, too reliant on Kesrick Williams and Fawad Ahmed, is going to be able to defend. We're yet to be convinced by a Nos 4-5-6 axis of Najibullah Zadran, Darren Sammy and Thisara Perera.
Bat to dominate
There have been only six matches at Kingston in the last two editions because of the Tallawahs' preference for playing in Lauderhill, Florida. The scores in those six (1-2 denote match won by team batting first or second, most recent first) read: 149-2/157-1/208-1/172-2/178-1/175-2. We expect bat to dominate.
Tallawahs hot jollies
The Tallawahs are the hottest of favourites for this one at [1.59]. Although we were indignant at their price for the Patriots clash - slightly bigger at [1.62] - we can't raise much more than a whimper of protest. The market has little time for St Lucia and that's fair.
Ordinarily we would argue that a team has to be extremely good to be considered a bet at such skinny odds and the gulf is rarely justified. And that remains the case. But instead of risking St Lucia we're just going to swerve. Their best hope is probably a chase with the Tallawahs bowling suspect but we would expect much bigger prices at the break.
Gayle and Fletcher double at 12s?
Gayle gets a 21/10 quote from Sportsbook for top Jamaica runscorer. Value? Yes. On two-year form he's more like a 15/8 chance although, on career form, he should be bigger. Doubt arises when you wonder whether Gayle has the mojo to go big back-to-back. But that's probably overly negative. The truth is we don't like betting him because it all seems down to what mood he's in. On pure odds, though, it's a wager.
Andre Fletcher came into the tournament with the joint-highest top-bat win rate in the tournament in the last two years (42%). He's let us down twice. The 16/5 is still value, though, given he's only dipped to 38%. If you're wanting a fun, monster price look no further than Sportsbook's 12/1 that Gayle and Fletcher both top score.
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