Ed Hawkins previews the play-offs from the Daren Sammy Stadium on Sunday in the ten-over tournament...
"The strategy, then, for captains is to bat first and target nine an over. Scores of 90 or more have been enough 84% of the time"
South Castries Lions v Mon Repos Stars
Sunday 5 May 17:30
TV: live on Dream 11 Fan App/YouTube
The Lions are licking their wounds after suffering their first defeat of the campaign to their big rivals for the title, Gros Islet Cannon Blasters.
At the break on Saturday, the Lions looked in charge. They had restricted Blasters to a total blow the magic nine-an-over rate and with Johnson Charles and Daren Sammy poised, they should have recorded their fifth straight win. But no.
Charles and Sammy made a difference in a negative way and their ponderous batting out the Lions under strain from which they could not recover, despite losing only thre wickets in pursuit of 88.
Probable Lions XI J Charles, A Antoine, T Simon, C Callendar, D Sammy, K Charlemagne, X Gabriel, A Joseph, N Leo, D Baptise, T Edward
Repos had the game in their pocket against Castries Mindoo. They had been odds-on in-play for success and really should have held their nerve going into the play-offs.
Their bowlers combined well to keep Castries to 98 and they were in charge of the chase going at ten over with six wickets left in the hutch. Alas, once Sabinus Emanuel fell for 23 the innings fizzled out and they went down by eight runs.
Probable Repos XI S Charles, S Emmanuel (wkt), M Wells, K Augustin, R Lesmond, H Charlery, C Charlery, S Descartes, C Emmanuel, K Gaston, D Henry, J Lesmond
Lions are [1.46] which is mighty short given their poor effort against the Blasters and with a heavy toss bias in action. There's nothing wrong with taking around [2.60] on Repos if they get the chance to bat first and put the Lions batting line-up under pressure. Don't forget, earlier in the tournament Repos came mighty close to upsetting Lions.
Central Castries Mindoo v Gros Islet Cannon Blasters
Sunday 5 May 19:30
TV: live on Dream 11 Fan App/YouTube
Blasters need a test
Hats off to Dilan John and Tyler Sookwa who combined for Mindoo to squeeze out the Repos on Saturday. The rest of the attack were struggling but these two won the game.
John returned figures of two for seven and Sookwa one for 15 - crucial as Repos were scoring at quicker than the required 9.8. Stephen Naitram had earlier made fifty.
Mindoo should have made more than 98. They started the final over on 96 but instead of big hits they lost four wickets.
Probable Castries Mindoo XI S Naitrim, G Prospere, K Lesporis, Aleyn Prospere, A Auguste, J James, J Eugene, K Arnold, Alvin Prospere, D John, E Elibox
Blasters have won all six and surely will take the title, particularly after they did a 'double' over the Lions. Blasters had beaten them in a warm-up.
With Kimani Melius back in the side after missing out in the previous match, Blasters look well equipped to continue their dominance but only if the toss goes in their favour. They are yet to chase in the tournament so are something of an unknown quantity in that regard .
Probable Gros Islet Blasters XI J Goodman, T Gabriel, D Edward, D Polius, G Serieux, V Gabriel, L Solomon, Dane Edward, L Edwards, T Chicot, Dornan Edward
That toss curiosity lets in Mindoo at [2.90]. There should be room for a trade if they can get up to that nine-an-over mark but unquestionably their batting looks to be the weaker suit.
Home and hosed with nine an over
Here are the first-innings scores so far at the Daren Sammy Cricket Stadium (1-2 denote match won by side batting first or second): 88-1/98-1/115-1/70-2/126-1/126-1/110-1/83-2/100-2/119-1/82-2/75-2/93-1/93-1/173-1/85-1/82-2/103-1/101-1/82-2/166-1/129-1/152-1/90-2. That is an average of 106. It is eight wins from 24 for the chaser. That is a bias of 67% for the side batting first.
The strategy, then, for captains is to bat first and target nine an over. Scores of 90 or more have been enough 84% of the time. Scores of 100 have been enough 92% of the time. Contrast that latter figure with a T10 history record of a 60% win rate for 100 or more.
The reason for batting second being so tricky is simple: pitch wear and tear. We're close to 480 overs at the same venue and that has a big impact when scoreboard pressure comes into play. In the Vincy Premier League, where all matches were played at the same venue, there was a similar bias for the side batting first.
The last ten first-innings T20 scores at the DSCS (1-2 denote match won by side bat-ting first or second) read: 103-2/185-1/165-2/172-1/160-2/109-1/115-2/185-1.
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Back Repos in-play at [2.70] or better bat first