La Soufriere Hikers v Botanic Garden Rangers
Saturday 30 May 17:30
TV: live on YouTube (search LSH v BGR)
Hikers bat heavy
For a while, the Hikers looked like being in the same boat as Botanic Gardens Rangers, desperately trying to catch the same wind that allowed Salt Pond Breakers to sail ahead. As it turned out, they proved to be as capable of winning matches and finished second only on net run rate.
Indeed, they gave Breakers more than a bloody nose in the last head-to-head when they chased 106 with eight wickets and a whole over to spare. There can be no doubt that Hikers are a batting team, insofar as their bowling group is persistently leaky.
Not that it's easy to spot because they've duffed up the also-rans in the manner of Breakers. On Friday in a rain-affected dead-rubber against Fort Charlotte Strikers they chased 42 in five overs with eight balls remaining.
Probable XI S Browne (wkt), Harry, Douglas, Maloney, Hackshaw, Cain, Lewis, Williams, Haywood, Ken Dalzell, Kim Dalzell
The Rangers won five from eight - a record which suggests that they are an organised, effective unit. The problem with that record is that Dark View Explorers and Fort Charlotte Strikers have been so hopeless that the Rangers' form is overblown.
More telling is how they got on against the Breakers and Hikers. It makes for grim reading. The Breakers beat them by 59 runs. The Hikers beat them by eight and nine wickets respectively. Even in a tournament skewed by the haves and have nots, Rangers suffered three of the biggest defeats. It suggests they're also part of the have nots.
They are reliant on bowlers Kesrick Williams, the West Indies pacer, and Ken Dember, producing something special here. Hyron Shallow has carried the batting and if he fails, they're in trouble. Dember, in fact, got them out of jail with an extraordinary hitting show against Grenadine on Friday.
Possible XI Shallow, Browne, Currency, Abraham, K Williams, K Dember, O Williams, N Small, R Williams, Charles, Morris
The first-innings scores (most recent first, 1-2 denote match won by team batting first or second) at the Vale read: 87-2/83-1/81-2/79-2/92-1/92-1/105-2/80-2/103-1/101-1/73-2/98-1/86-1/84-1/104-1/132-1/114-1/104-1/66-2/88-1/109-1/75-2/70-2/68-2.
The average first-innings score is 91. This helps to explain why the side batting first has done so well. There's a 58% bias as, surely, the Arnos Vale surface has got slower and lower as the tournament has progressed with three games a day.
An innings runs bet could be the play of the day. Rangers should be capable of hitting that average because of the Hikers' poor bowling, Othneil Lewis and Kim Dalzell aside, they don't have a single bowler with an economy rate below 9.5. Lewis is tight up front so an in-play wager for 90 or more will be attractive if we can get around the 2.1011/10 mark.
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. But in the Vincy bust 84 and you win 100% of the time. With Explorers so flaky with the willow and Breakers expert at a squeeze, going under 80 for first-innings could be a play if the toss goes our way. We'll look to get a lay in-play.
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 surprisingly big
Hikers are 1.774/5. That seems big at first glance given the teams' respective records and those two beating dished out by Hikers against Rangers. But then the market is wary of that leaky bowling.
Rangers are 2.265/4. A trade is tempting if they bat first but the in-play runs wager is, essentially, the same wager. Rangers should be slight jollies with more than 90 on the board.
Cricket...Only Bettor: The trends and key stats for the Vincy Premier League