Ed Hawkins previews a crucial Caribbean Premier League contest from the Queen's Park Oval early on Thursday morning...
"Tridents should be winners with a score of 180 or more. We can also see them chasing up to 190"
Trinbago Knight Riders v Barbados Tridents
Thursday 3 October, 0:00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Trinbago on the slide
Trinbago Knight Riders have lost three in a row and they are suffering one of their worst runs of form in the Caribbean Premier League. Another defeat here and the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots will be confident they can hold on to that all-important second qualification spot.
They went down by 19 runs against Guyana Amazon Warriors, who made it eight wins out of eight. For much of the game there appeared to be a whopping gulf between Trinbago, the holders, and the pretenders to their crown.
Characteristically, Trinbago had gone round the park - only Jamaica Tallawahs have a worst economy rate this term - and then their batting had been bamboozled by Guyana's classy spin attack. It was thanks to a mixture of belligerence and brilliance from Kieron Pollard that Trinbago got close. He made a 38-ball 71 and helped them whack 75 off the last six in a chase of 186. That just shows how far behind they were.
The Tridents have already qualified but any idea that they will be taking their foot off the gas should be dismissed pretty easily because they are in with a shout of usurping the Patriots in second spot. They are two points behind with a superior run rate so victory would see them leapfrog their rivals with a much easier route to the final.
Jason Holder's team have struggled for consistency this term and they won a pressure game against St Lucia Zouks to book their play-off spot last time out. The match before they lost by one run against the Patriots.
They are a more appetising prospect at the end of the tournament than the beginning because they have added bowling depth. Harry Gurney has been a great pick up for them and he gives them menace and nous at the death. Shakib-al-Hasan is finding his feet with and hands with bat and ball. The real star, though, is Hayden Walsh, the American spinner. Walsh has 15 wickets in just five games. If he maintains that form to the finish line he's going to be in-demand the world over.
Moire than eight an over needed
The last 14 first-innings scores at the Queen's Park Oval (1-2 denote match won by side batting first or second, most recent first) read: 185-1/168-1/191-1/157-1/180-1/170-1/203-1/223-2/195-1/118-2/147-2/156-2/152-2/158-2. That's an average of just over 170. That par is a must it would seem for both teams
Hosts up for the fight
There will be absolutely no fear for the Tridents against Trinbago. They thrashed the dominant force in CPL history by 63 runs in the last meeting.
JP Duminy, who made the fastest fifty on tournament record, and Walsh were the architects of the win. Walsh claimed five wickets but was still overlooked for man pf the match.
The outcome of the game depends entirely on whether Trinbago can find some form with the ball. Without Sunil Narine against Guyana, they lacked control and there's no guarantee he returns for this one. Tridents should be winners with a score of 180 or more. We can also see them chasing up to 190.
It's therefore pretty easy to reckon that Trinbago are poor value at [1.70]. There's nothing wrong with [2.30] Tridents.
Munro to the fore
In the absence of Narine, it was a surprise that Colin Munro did not return to the opener slot against Guyana. Trinbago are not making the most of him. Paired with Lendl Simmons it could revitalise their season. The 3s (Sportsbook) about him top scoring is value on our two-year form so we'll have an interest.
For Tridents, Shai Hope is still not fit so ignore his 3/1 jolly status. Alex Hales is having a grim time so swerve him at 7/2. Shakib and Duminy are terrific at Nos 3 and 4 and gets quotes of 16/5 and 7/2 respectively.
Gurney a bet
There's nothing wrong with a Walsh bet at 10/3 for Top tridents wicket-taker. He should probably be favourite given his form. But we're going to keep plugging away with Gurney. We're sure his expert death bowling will pay off sooner or later and it sure helps that Sportsbook have pushed him out to 7/2.
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