The St Lucia T10 Blast play-offs continue on Monday night from the Daren Sammy Stadium and Ed Hawkins has all the trends and stats
"If Central Castries have not noticed the toss bias yet they’re seriously short of smarts"
South Castries Lions v Central Castries
Monday 6 July, 17:30
TV: live on Dream 11 Fan App/YouTube
Lions hit back
The Lions got back on track after losing their first match of the campaign with a victory over the Mon Repos Stars. But it was another close thing.
They squeezed home by six runs against the Stars - who had made them sweat previously in the tournament. They were indebted to the toss bias and a wearing pitch in all probability as more than nine an over was once again the magic number. Their total of 94 was inspired by Johnson Charles's 39 from 15.
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
Central couldn't live with the Blasters on Sunday, going down by 30 runs after chasing. That was their decision, by the way, and it damns them as a unit which cannot be trusted. If they've not noticed the toss bias yet they're seriously short of smarts.
Predictably, the Blasters got hold of their bowling and that contest was over as soon as Kimani Melius had smashed another fifty.
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
The Lions are 1/4 with Sportsbook. Considering that toss fiasco it is not surprising Central are rated so poorly. If they do get the call right this time, some punters will reckon a trade might pay off with 5/2 likely to be replicated on the exchange.
Gros Islet Cannon Blasters v Mon Repos Stars
Monday 6 July, 19:30
TV: live on Dream 11 Fan App/YouTube
Melius fires Blasters
It is bizarre that Blasters are yet to chase in the tournament and it is a big reason why they are the only side left to have a 100% record.
Against Central Castries it looked as though we were going to finally find out whether they could chase as well as they could set up. But no. Central decided to field.
At least that gave us a chance to watch Kemani Melius, the player of the tournament tuck in. His 60 came off just 30 balls
Probable Gros Islet Blasters XI K Melius, T Gabriel, D Edward, D Polius, G Serieux, V Gabriel, L Solomon, Dane Edward, L Edwards, T Chicot, Dornan Edward
Repos are the nearly men of the Blast. Twice they have looked like downing the South Castries Lions to record a major upset but twice they have fallen at the last. This time they were let down by Shervin Charles's ten from 13 which proved fatal.
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
Considering the Repos can challenge the top sides, a trade is on our radar for this one. They will have to bat first, of course, and then use the pitch and scoreboard pressure to get their price down. But it not a huge risk to expect 2.608/5 to come in to 1.9520/21. You can use the cashout button for profits on Sportsbook, too.
There could be interruptions by rain in both games but we don't expect that to breathe fresh life into the pitch. We're not averse to a bit of weather potentially reducing the gulf between teams when on an outisder.
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): 122-1/94-1/88-1/98-1/115-1/70-2/126-1/126-1/110-1/83-2/100-2/119-1/82-2/75-2/93-1/93-1/173-1/85-1/82-2/103-1/101-1/82-2/166-1/129-1/152-1/90-2. That is an average of 106. It is eight wins from 26 for the chaser. That is a bias of 69% for the side batting first.
Given that latter number it is inconceivable that any captain would choose to chase but so Central Castries should be hung out to dry. Even more so when you remember that it's not particularly tough to get into a winning position.
The strategy, then, for captains is to bat first and target nine an over. Scores of 90 or more have been enough 16 times out of 18. Nine an over shouldn't be beyond these last four standing. Only once has a side chased ten an over.
The reason for batting second being so tricky is simple: pitch wear and tear. We're close to 520 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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