Ed Hawkins previews a poor-quality Caribbean League contest but finds two tops bets on Sunday night...
"Against the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the early hours of Sunday morning, the Patriots' weakness against spin was badly exposed"
Jamaica Tallawahs v Barbados Tridents
Sunday 15 September, 23:00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Oh dear Patriots, who are four defeats from five. Against the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the early hours of Sunday morning, their weakness against spin was badly exposed. Chris Green, Imran Tahir and Qais Ahmed tied them in knots to the tune of seven wickets as they were bundled out for just 121.
Now we're into the swing o this tournament it is hard not to reckon that for the Warriors, and Trinbago, this is like shooting fish in a barrel. They are way ahead of the rest, a motley crew who have failed to recognise the importance of packing the squad with solid spin options.
The only bright spot here was the return to fitness of Sheldon Cottrell. He didn't take a wicket, though, and was expensive as Guyana chased without a care.
Tallawahs turn to Dernbach
The Zouks have the potential to match the Patriots' record. They are one win in three having taken advantage of Jamaican Tallawahs complacency last time after chasing 171.
It's not worth getting too carried away by that win, though. The Tallawahs, to be blunt, have limited bowling nous. And as we've said with the Zouks - and this is true of the Patriots - they go hard up front with the bat or they go home. This time Rahkeem Cornwall went hard. Andre Fletcher support-ed well.
Their middle-order is so flaky that they desperately need a fast start. Colin de Grandhomme, how-ever, has arrived to add intelligence and grit to their play while we're fans of Kesrick Williams and Fawad Ahmed with the ball. Thisara Perera and Niroshan Dickwella are doubts after Sri Lanka with-drew No Objection Certificates.
Wicket is good
The first innings scores at Warner Park, Basseterre (1-2 denote match won by team batting first or second, most recent first) read: 121-2/186-1/241-2/168-2/206-2/199-1/168-2/162-2/208-1/168-2. Despite the Patriots' awful batting effort against the Warriors, we think this is a decent track for batters.
Little match odds appeal
The Patriots or Zouks? This is like Sophie's Choice. No matter who you go for, you're likely to end up in tears. The hosts are the outsiders at [2.02] with the Guyana disaster still fresh. The Zouks are [1.90].
Given their fly-by-night nature it's one of the worst prices you're likely to see. On that rationale, an interest (if you're desperate) on Patriots is fine but bear in mind Fawad could do to them what Green et all managed.
Fawad a fancy
Speaking of Fawad, he is 3/1 with Sportsbook for top Zouks bowler. It's a tempting bet because of how the Patriots struggled against tweak. But is the price fair? Well, last year Fawad had a hit rate of 38.4%. On career form he's more like a 4/1 chance. But we can probably make a case for bridging that gap because of Patriots form. Cottrell is also a fancy at 3s for top Patriots bowler now he's finding his rhythm after time out.
Sportsbook make Dickwella jolly for top Patriots bat at 3s. We're not sure he's going to make it out onto the field in the entire tournament. So do we keep faith once more with Fletcher, who has let us down consistently, despite that 42% win rate last season? We're still trying to work out how he carried his bat in that big chase against the Tallawahs but didn't win. The 7/2 is big enough to tempt.
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