Ed Hawkins previews the Caribbean Premier League clash from Sabina Park early on Saturday and says it could offer the thrill of the chase...
"Rahkeem Cornwall took to their bowling with the same gusto - it would appear given his bulk - that he attacks the ice cream parlour"
Jamaica Tallawahs v Trinbago Knight Riders
Saturday 14 September 02.00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Russell could miss out
The Tallawahs are stinking the place out in the Caribbean League. They have lost three out of three and the manner of their last two defeats would have left punters raging.
Against a chaotic St Lucia on Thursday night they went off sub [1.60] and were comfortably beaten by five wickets after Rahkeem Cornwall took to their bowling with the same gusto - it would appear given his bulk - that he attacks the ice cream parlour. Previous to that they had been [1.62] pre-toss against St Kitts and Nevis Patriots and then [1.05] in-running after posting a record total. They couldn't even take that to the last over.
In a further blow, Andre Russell is a major doubt after being struck on the helmet while batting. He was stretchered off and taken to hospital for scans. Those have come back clear but it would be extraordinary if he was risked. Short on overseas options, the loss of Russell's all-round abilities is significant.
Munro back for Trinbago
Trinbago are three from three and they inflicted the first of Jamaica's defeats. It is a good return considering Dwayne Bravo was ruled out of their first game with a finger injury and has subsequently confirmed he will miss the whole tournament.
But one man's loss is another's gain and Lendl Simmons, who was not picked up in the draft, has secured a spot for the season. Simmons won the man of the match award in his third game with 63 off 38 against St Lucia.
The opener was only supposed to be available for the first three with Colin Munro away in New Zealand but Bravo's injury means he now gets a full-time gig. Munro should also be available, with Trinbago likely to have to shuffle a firing top order to make room for the player of the series last term.
Pitch should stay true
There have been only seven 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: 170-2/149-2/157-1/208-1/172-2/178-1/175-2. The pitch looks good for chasing and another total of 170 may not be enough.
Are Trinbago good enough to win four in a row? Are Jamaica bad enough to lose four in a row? The match odds market says 'yes'. Trinbago are [1.58] and Jamaica [2.32].
Given Jamaica's poor start, the loss of Russell and imbalance (we haven't mentioned the chronic need for an international-class spinner yet) in the squad it would be foolish to have a wager on them and let it run.
But there is room for a trade because their batting is solid. Chris Gayle and Glenn Phillips as openers are more than capable of a fast start and we can see them trading as jollies, particularly if they chase. If they don't, their lack of nous in the field should mean we're taking anything bigger than [1.80] on Trinbago.
Narine might not be needed
With Munro back in the side, how does he fare as a top-bat wager? He has a 42% win rate over the last two seasons in CPL. Which is hugely impressive. With Andre Fletcher's disappointing start he now has the best win rate. Sportsbook make Munro a 3/1 chance so there is a clear edge. It would be wrong not to mention Kieron Pollard, too, at 9/2. Given that Munro is guaranteed to bat as opener, he is the shrewdest pick.
Sportsbook also go 5/6 that Sunil Narine scores under 17.5 runs. It's not surprising they have listed him because he has opened in their last game. But with Simmons going well, Tion Webster likewise, Munro to come back, Denesh Ramdin in great form and Darren Bravo available after injury, surely the chances of him batting in the top four are reduced?
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