Botanic Gardens Rangers v La Soufriere Hikers
Thursday 28 May 17:28
TV: live on YouTube (search BGR v LSH)
Rangers need to improve
It would take something spectacular for Botanic Gardens Rangers to miss out on a semi-final spot with four wins from six games. Their run rate is in the red but Dark View Explorers and Grenadine Divers would have to win both their remaining games (and they each play the Breakers) for that to be a factor.
So the Rangers could make their last match, against the Divers, a dead rubber if they step up here. It's quite a task, though. They are not as strong as the Breakers or Hikers. But no way near as bad as the rest. Their two defeats have come against Breakers and Hikers. And they were humiliations by 55 runs and nine wickets respectively.
Last time out Rangers beat up Explorers by eight wickets. But that's no preparation for a tougher opponent.
Probable XI Shallow, Browne, Currency, Abraham, K Williams, K Dember, O Williams, N Small, R Williams, Charles, Morris
While the Salt Pond Breakers were taking all the plaudits as the best team in the tournament, the Hikers were quietly stewing. And when their chance came to turn up the heat on the title-winners in waiting, they took it.
On Wednesday they enjoyed an easy win over the Breakers, chasing down 106 with eight wickets in the hutch and an over to spare. It suggested the Breakers were a little one-dimensional. All big bats and no brains. In the previous meetings, Breakers had batted first and scored 132 but Hikers still managed 107.
Their standout performers have been Salvan Browne, who took down Breakers on his own, and Othneil Lewis who has an economy rate of just 6.3.
Probable XI S Browne (wkt), Maloney, Douglas, D Browne, Bentick, Haywood, Harry, Williams, Hackshaw, Dalzell, Lewis
Could Rangers go big?
The first-innings scores (most recent first, 1-2 denote match won by team batting first or second) at the Vale so far read: 105-2/80-2/103-1/101-1/73-2/98-1/86-1/84-1/104-1/132-1/114-1/104-1/66-2/88-1/109-1/75-2/70-2/68-2.
Batting has been getting easier but, as we have said, Breakers' batting has skewed those innings runs lists. Could Rangers make a play for a decent score, though, batting first? Could we get more than 2.01/1 on them busting 100?
We're not convinced by the Hikers bowling. Only Lewis and Kimson Dalzell (7.20) boast economy rates which impress. Every other bowler is in the tens apart from Jeremy Haywood who is on the cusp at 9.90.
In T10's short history scores of 100 are enough 60% of the time. But bust 110 and a team wins 80% of the time. More than 80 in this tournament has been enough in the Vincy 100% of the time.
Before this competition there had been six T20 internationals played at Arnos Vale between June 2013 and September 2014. The first-innings scores (most recent first, 1-2 denote match won by team batting first or second) read: 111-tie/101-2/92-2(first three all women's matches WI v NZ)/135-1/152-2/81-2.
Pin hopes on Williams
Hikers are 1.728/11 and Rangers 2.3211/8. Some may reckon that's a decent price on the Hikers considering their strength and the head-to-head. But clearly we are not alone in our concerns about their bowling.
A trade strategy, therefore, appears to be pretty simple. Hope Rangers win the toss and can get up to that ten an over mark. We then, historically, have a 60% win rate on our side which could mean we let it run.
More likely, we'll stick around and wait for Kesrick Williams to come to the party. The West Indies pacer looks in decent fettle and we might be able to take a price at odds-on.
Cricket...Only Bettor: The trends and key stats for the Vincy Premier League