West Indies v Bangladesh
Friday 24 June, 14:30
TV: live on BT Sport
Cheeky Windies on song
West Indies pulled a fast one, literally, last time out against Bangladesh. Kemar Roach was not included in the squad for the first Test due to injury. And hey presto who turned up in the side at the toss?
Roach then took five second-innings wickets to finish off a meek Bangladesh. With only Jason Holder missing from their senior players, the hosts could be considered to be at full-strength. Another surprise was in store when bowling all-rounder Raymon Reifer walked out to bat at No 3.
The hosts do remain hugely reliant on Kraigg Brathwaite getting runs. His first-dig ton was the difference in a low-scoring game on an ugly-looking surface. Nkrumah Bonner returning to form which sorted out England would be a boost.
Probable XI: Brathwaite, Campbell, Reifer, Bonner, Blackwood, Mayers, Da Silva, Joseph, Roach, Motie, Seales
Bangladesh's bad run
Bangladesh started the year beating the world champions in New Zealand. Since then they have lost five out of six Tests (one being a draw) and they have been thrashed in every single one.
In that sequence they have passed 300 just the once. Batting again was the issue in North Sound. After being bowled out for 103 in the first innings the match was effectively lost.
It doesn't help that Mushfiqur Rahim, one of their few premier batters, is unavailable. Much depends on Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das and Shakib-al-Hasan.
They could strengthen their batting options by including Mossadek Hussain and using him as a part-time offie. More likely, though, is that pacer Taijul Islam gets a game ahead of Ebadot Hossain.
Possible XI: Tamim, Joy, Shanto, Haque, Shakib, Das, Nurul, Hasan Miraz, Mustafizur Taijul, Khaled
Four of the last five wins at Gros Islet have been won by the side batting first. West Indies have only ever won once at the venue.
What the track is like is guesswork if North Sound was anything to go by. The hosts played another fast one with a terror track. Previously it had been a road.
Historically, batting has been tough. West Indies were rolled for times last year by South Africa and in the last 15 innings 300 or more has been posted only four times.
Shorting Bangladesh's runs will be popular but get in quick. They have some middle-order ballast so they will have some stickability. Alternatively, wait for them to be about 30 for three and then go overs. Bet the runs here
Draw could shorten
West Indies are 1.834/5, Bangladesh 4.10 and the draw 4.03/1. The only price that interests us is the stalemate at the moment.
The hosts are superior, we get that. But they're not trustworthy enough to be betting at such skinny odds. And we always wants more on the Banglas.
The weather helps us to find a wager. Rain and thunderstorms are forecast for days three and four so if both sides can show a modicum of durability with the bat, it could well trade around 2.407/5. Bet the match odds here
Roach is an old favourite on the top first-innings bowler market. We go back to the well again with Sportsbook offering 9/4. It's not short enough on win rate.
What is particularly enticing is Roach's record against left-handers. And there are four of them to target in the top six here.
With the bat, Brathwaite is Mr Reliable and we had a nice 3/1 winner for honours in the first dig for the Windies. Sportsbook have boosted him to the same. He is 5/6 for 30.5 runs or more but has an even money record over the last three years in first-innings.
Mehidy Hasan Miraz stands out at 25/1 for top-bat honours. But it's only one win in 15 so don't go mad on stakes. Shakib has two wins in his last seven and is a 7/2 shot. Bet the Spotsbook markets here. Bet the Sportsbook markets here
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