Ed Hawkins previews a clash between two of the poorest teams in the Vincy Premier League on Wednesday
"We have a significant burgeoning toss bias it would seem, bucking the trend for T10 matches historically (67% before this tournament began)"
Fort Charlotte Strikers v Grenadine Divers
Wednesday 27 May, 13:30
TV: live on YouTube (search FCS v GD)
Strikers lose again
Fort Charlotte Strikers have now lost all five matches, which is quite something for a format such as T10. The latest defeat came against the hands of Botanic Gardens Rangers.
Perhaps for a side with a semblance of confidence it wouldn't have been a loss at all. As per usual, the bowlers came under pressure. They conceded 102 (with Rasheed Fredericks and Kirton Lavia honourable exceptions) but for a time it looked as though the batters would step up.
They had a great platform for a late charge to the line with ten needed off the last three with Gidron Pope and Sealroy Williams set. But both fell within ten balls and that was that. Marquee man Keron Cottoy once again proved a total waste of time with the bat. He is now striking at just 90 for the tournament.
Probable XI Pope, Scott, R Williams, Stowe, Cottoy, Lavia, Walters, Fredericks, S Williams, Ray, Jordan
Samuels so close
Divers are one win from five. Anything Strikers can do... They will, have woken this morning still wondering how they managed to lose against La Soufriere Hikers on Tuesday. It was an astonishing failure.
The bowlers had worked with skill and guts to restrict the Hikers to just 98 with Asif Hooper, surely one of the players of the tournament, claiming three wickets for 19. He has an economy rate of just 6.4 for the whole competition.
That gave Alex Samuel the platform to cut loose. Samuel is proving to be one of the finest hitters involved. And for the second match in a row he appeared to be winning the game on his own. With him seeing it like a football Divers need 16 from the final two. Easy.
Of course Samuel fell for 55, just a day after his blistering 20 against the Dark View Explorers should have been enough. Divers made only another eight runs.
Probable XI S Browne, Hooper, Harper, R Pierre, Pope, Latchman, McCoy, R Browne, R Richards, G Whyllie
Bat-first still the way to go
The first-innings scores (most recent first, 1-2 denote match won by team batting first or second) at the Vale so far read: 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.
We have a significant burgeoning toss bias it would seem, bucking the trend for T10 matches historically (67% before this tournament began). And it surely has to be down to the wear and tear on a pitch which is being used three times a day. Under pressure, the chaser is getting bogged down on a slow surface.
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.
A betting heat between the Strikers and Divers is a bit like getting to the dregs of the Quality Street and finding only the purple ones are left. Neither team are a particularly appetising prospect.
The match odds market has Divers as the 1.794/5 favourites. That's not unfair considering the talent of Hooper and the hitting of Samuels. But we're not taking that bet.
Instead we're looking for a flip on the odds with the toss in our favour. Divers at [2.16[ batting first is greedy but if it doesn't come, it doesn't come.
Cricket...Only Bettor: The trends and key stats for the Vincy Premier League
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Back Divers 2.166/5 in-play bat first