Ed Hawkins previews a clash between the pre-tournament favourites on Saturday in the Vincy T10 Premier League...
"Rangers dropped two simple chances early on in the chase and spinner Nigel Small’s opening over, which included two of the biggest wides you’re likely to see on the off side, was laughable"
Grenadine Divers v Botanic Gardens Rangers
Saturday 23 May 17.30
TV: live on YouTube (search GD v BGR)
Divers faith dives
Before a ball had been bowled the Divers stuck up their hand for the most brainless franchise. In a four-year-old format which has produced a toss bias of almost 70% for the chaser they won the toss and decided to...bat. Not surprisingly they were well-beaten by Salt Pond Breakers.
It is the sort of stupidity which is hard to forgive, let alone forget when consider a wager on them. They had made a decent start with the bat. Shem Browne liked pace on the ball and was rattling on but opening partner Wayne Harper ran himself out and a good start of 43 off the first three was wasted.
A hat-trick from Wesrick Strough proved crucial at the death of the innings as Divers posted only 68. The Breakers made heavy going of the total and only got home with four balls to spare.
Probable XI S Browne, Harper, R Pierre, Hooper, Pope, Latchman, McCoy, R Browne, R Richards, G Whyllie.
Botanic Gardens Rangers looked low on energy and professionalism in their first match against La Soufriere Hikers, who strolled home by seven wickets.
They even had a go at rivalling the Divers for dumb decisions. This was their contribution: in a tight chase of 70 do you ensure your one international fast bowler uses his allotted overs or do you bring him on until the match is over and give him only six balls?
The Rangers went for the latter with Kesrick Williams, the West Indies man underused. It was an extraordinary waste of their marquee player, a pacer of such repute that he should be capable of doing significant damage.
Probable XI Shallow, Browne, Currency, Abraham, K Williams, K Dember, O Williams, N Small, R Williams, Charles, Morris
Wicket looks slow
With a bit of luck both the Divers and Rangers would have gone away and done a study up on the toss bias historically in this format and the Arnos Vale surface. This time they should be equipped to make better decisions.
Chasing is a must for the captain that wins the toss, particularly on an Arnos Vale track which should continue to cause confusion about what a good score is. It looks a slow surface by the time of the evening game with the sun having baked it into oblivion. The opening day scores were: 68, 70 and 75.
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.
The Divers and Rangers, who were numbers one and two on the outright betting pre-tournament, cannot be separated on the match odds market with [1.90] the pair. That seems fair given some of the chaotic cricket both displayed on day one.
As we said, surely the winning captain will chase and that should be the driver for anyone looking to bet. We'd be more than happy to take on whichever side bats first, although we hope it is the Rangers.
They had a big black mark on their copy book, regardless of Williams being underbowled. They dropped two simple chances early on in the chase and spinner Nigel Small's opening over, which went for 16 and included two of the biggest wides you're likely to see on the off side, was laughable.
Cricket...Only Bettor introduces you to the Vincy Premier League
New on Betting.Betfair – Betslip
You can now bet without leaving Betting.Betfair with our brand new on-site betslip for Exchange markets. You'll see the Exchange back and lay prices at the end of articles - simply login and place your bets as you would do on the main Exchange site
Lay Rangers bat first in-play at [1.80] or lower