Salt Pond Breakers v Botanic Gardens Rangers: Take a risk on big Rangers

Sunil Ambris
Ambris hit form

Ed Hawkins previews a potential thriller from Arnos Vale on Monday in the Vincy T10 Premier League...

"We feel the odds may be an overreaction to a day which could, down the line, prove to be an outlier in terms of runscoring and who scored them"

Salt Pond Breakers v Botanic Garden Rangers
Monday 25 May 13.30
TV: live on YouTube (search SPB v BGR)

Ambris finds form

Sunil Ambris finally came to the short-form party on Sunday with a destructive 75 from 40 balls in Salt Pond Breakers' victory over La Soufriere Hikers. It was their third win out of three and they look like the team to beat.

For Ambris it was a significant innings. There have been doubts about whether he had the hitting ability to shine in this format given that in Twenty20 he has struggled. His highest score in T20 is 25 and his career strike rate is 87.

Sure, it was only one innings. And perhaps the less said about the bowling the better but we do need to bear in mind this is a step down from inter-island cricket. The context will remain. A word, too, for Kadir Need whose 50 off 22 was the actual highlight as Breakers posted an insurmountable 132.

Probable XI Ambris, Nedd, Hector, Walker, Johnson, Sween, Thompson, Stapleton, Layne, Harry, Strough

Williams to the fore

The Garden Rangers have also found their range. Their success over Dark View Explorers was their second of their campaign after a dreadful showing against La Soufriere Hikers on the opening day.

Kesrick Williams, probably the best player in the competition, knocked over Explorers' two best batsmen in Lindon James and Deron Greaves to end any aspirations that the chasers would get close to 105. They fell 22 runs short.

Earlier Hyron Shallow had showed muscle with the bat and, finally, Romel Currency added value with an innings of note.

Probable XI Shallow, Browne, Currency, Abraham, K Williams, K Dember, O Williams, N Small, R Williams, Charles, Morris

Pitch perplexing

Before day three began, the average first-innings score was 79. So was this the time when teams finally worked out what a good score was? Or have they learnt that free-ing the arms and embracing recklessness is the only way to go?

The Breakers' 132 is a huge leap from the average and alongside two other scores of more than 100 on day four it was a sort of trend buster. Up until that point we were pretty sure the wickets was sluggish at Arnos Vale. And that it would only get slower. It just lengthens the study period before we can start making plays on the innings runs market.

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.

Rangers underrated

The Breakers are as skinny as 1.654/6 to make it four in a row in round four with the Garden Rangers out to 2.3411/8. That is by far the biggest gulf in odds we have seen.

We feel that may be an overreaction to a day which could, down the line, prove to be an outlier in terms of runscoring and who scored them. But if Ambris's form is leading the money, this is not a bad thought: how will he fare against Williams?

At the odds, we'd happily take on the Breakers. But we'll do it with the comfort rug of the toss. Rangers chasing at 2.1011/10 in play is a price worth booking. Simply, we don't believe such a gulf exists between teams in T10, not least in a competition which is 180 overs old.


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