Dark View Explorers v La Soufriere Hikers: Cracking the Vincy code

Arnos Vale
The Arnos Vale surface looks slow
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Ed Hawkins expects more sluggish runscoring on day two on Saturday of the Vincy Premier League with the toss key...

"The great test of T10 is working out what is enough. The format is only four years old a few have managed it. Previously there has been a win rate of 67% for the chaser"

Dark View Explorers v La Soufriere Hikers
Saturda 23 May 13.30
TV: live on YouTube (search DVE v LSH)

Explorers off to flier

Dark View Explorers inflicted a comprehensive defeat on Fort Charlotte Strikers in their opener. After winning the toss and choosing to bowl, they immediately took command with nagging line and length bowling.

The Strikers could only manage 75 for five and just when it looked as though Gidron Pope and Renrick Williams were building a platform, spinner Sealron Williams weaved a web. Sealron took two for 16. A word, too, for pacer Darius Martin whose two overs brought him two wickets and cost only five runs. An extraordinary return.

In the chase, the Explorers were cosy getting home with eight wickets and nine balls to spare. Their decision to bat the prolific and dangerous Lindon James at No 3 showed their depth here. James guided the chase after early blows from Deron Greaves. They didn't even need hitter Cody Horne.

Probable XI: Greaves, Joseph, James (wkt), Thomas, Horne, Hoyte, Strough, Hooper, Joseph, S Williams, Martin

Hikers strong

The Hikers barely broke sweat in scaling Botanic Gardens Rangers. They dished out a hammering and there looked a considerable gulf between the teams in terms of energy and professionalism.

The Rangers batting line-up were given no room to move and the game was up halfway through the first innings. The wicket of the dangerous Romel Currency with only 25 on the board was an early indicator that this is an attack which is not to be trifled with.

Offspinner Jeremy Haywood claimed three wickets and it was notable that the five overs Hikers bowled of spin went for only 19 runs. Desron Maloney, with 41 off 20, made light work of the chase, hitting three sixes.

Probable XI S Browne (wkt), Maloney, Douglas, D Browne, Bentick, Haywood, Harry, Williams, Hackshaw, Dalzell, Lewis

Wicket looks slow

It is early days in the Vincy but it would be a surprise if this Arnos Vale track suddenly turned into a belter of a batting wicket. From the first three matches it appeared to be a course, dry and turgid surface. Spinners are likely to hold sway as the tournament progresses and even if they use two or three strips on the square, we don't expect much difference.

Batting first could be more beneficial later on in the tournament in that regard. Open-ing day scores of 68, 70 and 75 look below par but nine an over should be a significant challenge.

Still, the great test of T10 is working out what is enough. The format is only four years old a few have managed it. Previously there has been a win rate of 67% for the chaser and day one of the VPL didn't make a dent in that.

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.

Chaser to the fore

The match odds market has Hikers [1.85] jollies with the Explorers [2.02]. Although the Hikers won more impressively, that could be an overreaction. At this stage we're not entirely sure how bad Botanic are.

As ever, though, the toss is key and on that basis it would have been fairer to see this as a choice affair. The odds should flip if Explorers chase. If not, there is nowt wrong with a lay of the Hikers at such odds.

Sportsbook are keeping their powder dry on top bat markets until line-ups settle. James, however, could be a smart wager in the future. He looks to be the classiest player on show and if realises that with fields set well back, ten or 12 an over is a canter for a player with placement.

***

Cricket...Only Bettor introduces you to the Vincy Premier League


Ed Hawkins P-L

2020: -10.35
2019: +37.25pts
2018: +23.53pts
2017: +12pts
2016: +18.1pts
2015: +38pts
2014: +31.5pts
2013: +25pts
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. New points system (0.5pt-5) introduced for 2017. Includes Hawk-Eye stats column p-l

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