Grenadine Divers v Fort Charlotte Strikers: Flip key in average affair

Keron Cottoy
Cottoy has to step up
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Ed Hawkins previews the second game on Sunday in the Vincy Premier League from Arnos Vale, St Vincent...

"We think that a good score on this Arnos Vale surface is nine an over or more. It will be interesting to see whether that view still holds in two days’ time"

Grenadine Divers v Fort Charlotte Strikers
Sunday 24 May 15:30
TV: live on YouTube (search GD v FCS)

Divers sinking

The Divers are already plumbing the depths after two defeat in their opening two games. They need to find some purpose sharpish.

Of course it could be argued they have been unlucky to chase twice. But then you remember that they plumped for batting first in their opener against Salt Pond Breakers.

On Saturday against Botanic Gardens Rangers they were put out of their misery relatively early on thanks to some mean and miserly bowling from Kesrick Williams. They only had 24 on the board when the second wicket fell in the fifth over.

The target they set of 66 was two fewer than they managed against the Breakers. It is early days but so far they are the lowest efforts in the tourny. The bowling has not caused any problems in either match, too, and marquee player Obed McCoy bowled only one of his two overs against Rangers.

Probable XI S Browne, Harper, R Pierre, Hooper, Pope, Latchman, McCoy, R Browne, R Richards, G Whyllie

Strikers beaten by speed

The Strikers have also suffered two losses. Last time out they were beaten by Salt Pond Breakers, managing only 68 after being set 87.

What was interesting about their defeat by the Breakers was how they succumbed to pace. Breakers bowled only two overs of spin. It was a curious ploy, not least that it came off because the Strikers batting line-up looked very much like one which was desperate for some pace on the ball.

Gidron Pope was becalmed and Ronald Scott will be having nightmares of his 12-ball two for sometime. Renrick Williams's 13-ball eight was also a stinker. Marquee player Keron Cottoy bowled only one over and made four. He has got to start to put his hand up.

Probable XI Pope, Scott, R Williams, Stowe, Cottoy, Lavia, Walters, Fredericks, S Williams, Ray, Jordan

Pitch picture beginning to emerge

We think that a good score on this Arnos Vale surface is nine an over or more. It will be interesting to see whether that view still holds in two days' time.

The challenge in T10 for the side batting first has always been to know what a good total is. The evidence is beginning to stack up in this tournament, but only because the venue has not - and will not - change. It is entirely possible that the T10 trend for chasers dominating could be bucked at some stage. The first-innings scores (most recent first, 1-2 denote match won by team batting first or second) at the Vale so far read: 66-2/88-1/109-1/75-2/70-2/68-2.

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 strong

The Divers are [2.02] with Strikers [1.90]. This is a choice affair with the market reckoning that the decisive factor - considering both teams' records - is the coin flip. It would certainly be foolhardy to take the bigger odds about a team with a 0-2 record with the toss against them.

It's not a great betting heat, though. We're still concerned about the Divers' smarts after that decision to bat first in the opener. Strikers, too, are a conundrum. They have looked suspect against pace and spin and we're not sure where that leaves them.

***

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