Ed Hawkins says it could be worth risking the outsider at Arnos Vale in the Vincy Premier League on Tuesday
"We have to switch our allegiance from the chaser because of that spectacular trend bust. Instead, keeping Divers onside with a trade batting first, and hoping Hooper works his magic again, seems a fair ploy"
Grenadine Divers v La Soufriere Hikers
Tuesday 26 May, 13:30
TV: live on YouTube (search GD v LSH)
Divers are one win from four. It's a disappointing return for a team which has some talented individuals, not least Obed McCoy the West Indies international.
Asif Hooper, the miserly, spinner, has been superb and Shem Browne has shown good hitting talent. But they seem incapable of putting together a batting and bowling performance.
They really should have got over the line against Dark View Explorers on Monday. The bowlers had worked hard to restrict Explorers to 86 with Hooper once again recording extraordinary figures (this time two overs for just nine), Obed McCoy taking two for 11 and Razine Brown one for 14.
But their batting then collapsed in a heap. The game was in their pocket at 58 for three in the sixth. Only seven an over was required. How they fell short is a significant concern.
Probable XI S Browne, Hooper, Harper, R Pierre, Pope, Latchman, McCoy, R Browne, R Richards, G Whyllie
Hikers keep on
Hikers made hard work of the Fort Charlotte Strikers to give them a 3-1 record so far. They are hot on the heels of the runaway leaders, Salt Pond Breakers.
It wasn't as plain sailing as backers of a [1.65] chance would have hoped. Their total of 84 batting first didn't provide the comfort rug that the odds suggested after Keron Cottoy and Ray Jordan had squeezed them expertly.
And they were beginning to sweat with Kirton Lavia and Renrick Williams going well. Williams's run out, though, sparked a collapse with four wickets falling for 15 runs. Othneil Lewis was the pick with two for six.
Probable XI S Browne (wkt), Maloney, Douglas, D Browne, Bentick, Haywood, Harry, Williams, Hackshaw, Dalzell, Lewis
The first-innings scores (most recent first, 1-2 denote match won by team batting first or second) at the Vale so far read: 86-1/84-1/104-1/132-1/114-1/104-1/66-2/88-1/109-1/75-2/70-2/68-2.
The trend for chasers dominating in this format (67% before a ball was bowled) is well on the way to be being busted.
A significant factor in that sequence is a wearing pitch (remember, Arnos Vale is the only venue). Plus we must not discount the fact that Breakers and Hikers appear to be significantly better than everyone else.
In T10's short history scores of 100 are enough 60% of the time. But 1120 and a team wins 80% 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.
Hikers too skinny
The match odds market has well and truly made up its mind on the Hikers, who go off again at [1.65]. The Divers are [2.40].
Do we really want to betting on such a prohibitive price in what should be a helter-skelter format? And in a competition which is brand new with a worn pitch and the toss seemingly crucial?
Of course not. It is, therefore, reasonably easy to make a case for the outsider.
But we have to switch our allegiance from the chaser because of that spectacular trend bust. Instead, keeping Divers onside with a trade batting first, and hoping Hooper works his magic again, seems a fair ploy.
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Trade Divers [2.40] to [1.90] bat first