Ed Hawkins previews the first semi-final in the Vincy t10 Premier League from Arnos Vale on Saturday...
"here's a 58% bat-first bias as, surely, the Arnos Vale surface has got slower and lower as the tournament has progressed with three games a day"
Salt Pond Breakers v Grenadine Divers
Saturday 30 May 15:30
TV: live on YouTube (search SPB v GD)
The Breakers ensured they finished top of the pile - on superior run rate - by swatting away Dark View Explorers inn their final group game on Friday.
Batting first, they were becalmed. Explorers did well to restrict Breakers to just 82. After Sunil Ambris and Kadir Nedd had got them off to a strong start they fell away, adding only 33 runs in the last five overs and losing four wickets.
If they were nervous about one of their smallest targets of the season, they didn't show it. Breakers took a wicket in every over bar the first, second and fourth. Despite Ambris and Nedd, bowling is their strongest suit which is a key characteristic of a franchise title winner.
Probable XI Ambris, Nedd, U Thomas, Strough, Johnson, Walker, John, Sween, Stapleton, Harry, Hector
Divers slip again
Divers are the most frustrating of the teams in the Vincy Premier League because of the individual talent they boast and a record they should be embarrassed by. They ended the group stage with defeat by Botanic Garden Rangers, their fifth in seven matches.
It is, frankly, laughable that a team of with such a poor record could be in a semi-final. But the Vincy has been a tournament dominated by two teams - Breakers and La Soufriere Hikers - with the rest vastly inferior.
It is true that the Divers should have more wins to their name. They have become specialists in the art of having a game sewn up only to miss a stitch at the death. It's probably cost them three wins.
The latest was against the Rangers on Friday. They had batted well, posting 88 and then squeezed their opponents. At 33 for four in the sixth it was job done. An assault by Ken Dember revived Rangers but in the final over even with a dot and wicket they failed to defend five off four.
Possible XI Harper, Hooper, Samuel, R Pierre, S Browne, R Richards, McCoy, Whyllie, S Roberts, R Browne, B Browne
Explorers could come up short
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. We'd be happy to lay either team batting first for 90 or more because both bowling groups are smart.
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 un-der 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.
Breakers are 1.654/6 with Divers 2.45. It is a slightly bigger price on Breakers that we expected but, even so, it's not the range we would play at in such a format.
Instead, we're looking prices in-play. And the Divers price does interest because we know they are adept at getting a foothold in a match. They just can't maintain it. Batting first, with Asif Hooper and Alex Samuel key, we could get a trade on. But don't let it run.
Cricket...Only Bettor: The trends and key stats for the Vincy Premier League
Ed Hawkins P-L
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. New points system (0.5pt-5) introduced for 2017. Includes Hawk-Eye stats column p-l
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Trade Divers 2.407/5 to 1.9010/11 bat first