The toss will be crucial in the final and third place play-off of the St Lucia T10 Blast tournament at the Daren Sammy Stadium on Tuesday...
"Clearly with the numbers as they are, the Repos represent value. And if they can target nine an over and get it, they are bang in the game"
Central Castries v Gros Islet Cannon Blasters
Tuesday 7 May 17.30
TV: live on Dream 11 Fan App/YouTube
Lions hit back
Castries saved their worst performance for the semi-final against South Castries Lions, being bowled out for just 47 to go down by a massive 87 runs.
In the third-place play-off, they desperately need the toss to go their way otherwise they are likely to be outclassed, although who knows how motivated they will be.
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 Blasters had looked like the best team in the tournament until their knockout match against the Repos. But for the first time they had to chase - and they were found wanting.
How often do we talk about one bad day at the office wrecking a near perfect campaign in the short form? Blasters had boasted a 100% record.
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
Castries are [2.92] with Blasters [1.33]. On form and ability the prices make sense. And although there is a heavy toss bias, we're not sure we want to trust Central in a trade.
South Castries Lions v Mon Repos Stars
Tuesday 6 May 19.30
TV: live on Dream 11 Fan App/YouTube
Repos eye upset
So the Lions are in the final. Who'd have thought it considering Daren Sammy and Johnson Charles were gifted them in the draft?
Betfair Sportsbook didn't price the outright because of the talent bias and it seems they were right. They hammered Central and appear to have gone into overdrive since they suffered their one defeat, which came against Blasters.
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
The Blasters' dangerous batting always looked the more likely to upset Lions in the showpiece but Repos all-round game means they look well-equipped, too. They are efficient and have revelled in their role as underdogs.
They took down Blasters with an accomplished display in the semi, posting a fantastic 118 and then bowling with nerve.
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
Can Repos make it third time lucky against the Lions? Twice they have gone mighty close. The match odds market thinks not with [3.55] available but anything bigger than [2.80] with the toss in their favour is a wager.
Numbers support outsiders
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): 118-1/131-1/122-1/94-1/88-1/98-1/115-1/70-2/126-1/126-1/110-1/83-2/100-2/119-1/82-2/75-2/93-1/93-1/173-1/85-1/82-2/103-1/101-1/82-2/166-1/129-1/152-1/90-2.
That is an average of 107. It is just eight wins from 28 for the chaser. That is a bias of 71% for the side batting first.
At this point it's worth remembering that it's only two game since Central decided to bat second against the Blasters. Go figure. Clearly with the numbers as they are, the Repos represent value. And if they can target nine an over and get it, they are bang in the game.
Scores of 90 or more have been enough 16 times out of 18. Only once has a side chased 10 an over.
The reason that batting second is 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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Back Repos in-play bat first at [2.80] or better