Salt Pond Breakers v La Soufriere Hikers: Hikers can continue ascent

Ambris isn't suited to the format
Sunil Ambris
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Ed Hawkins says a 100% record has to go at Arnos Vale on Sunday in the Vincy Premier League...

"We do not disrespect the importance of the toss at this stage – remember the bias in this tourney and every other T10 for the chaser – so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that the flip goes the right way for La Soufriere"

Salt Pond Breakers v La Soufriere Hikers
Sunday 24 May 17:30
TV: live on YouTube (search SPB v LSH)

Jury out on Breakers

The Breakers have two wins from two, although how much store we put in those results remains to be seen.
On the opening day Sunil Ambris's distinctive eyebrows were raised after Grenadine Divers effectively handed his team the advantage by choosing to bat first. And they almost made a mess of a chase of 68. In game two they hit an increasingly disappointing Fort Charlotte Strikers with an all-out pace attack.

It could be this lot are the smartest in the competition, recognising strengths and weaknesses and adapting their tactics. But we'll need to see more evidence over a consistent period. For a start, we're still waiting for proof that Ambris is a T10 player. There is a whole file of evidence which proves he's not fit for T20 so we're not holding out much hope.

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

Happy Hikers

The Hikers are also two from two and we have few doubts that they are a strong line-up. They are beating up teams at the moment and bucking trends.

In game one they took down the Botanic Garden Rangers by nine wickets and then they set about the Dark View Explorers attack with gusto, whacking the highest score so far (109).

What was most impressive about that result, though, was how they kept a dangerous Explorers batting attack quiet. They seemed in control despite the threat of the highly-rated Lindon James. And in the end they squeezed the life out of them without breaking sweat. Pacer and off-spinner Dean browne and Othneil Lewis respectively combined for the vice.

Probable XI S Browne, Maloney, Douglas, D Browne, Hackshaw, Lewis, Bentick, Harry, Haywood, Williams, Denzell

Nine an over the target

Fast scoring and acceleration remains tricky for batters on a slow Arnos Vale surface. And we're beginning to build a picture of what a good score is batting first with six matches completed. The first-innings scores (most recent first, 1-2 denote match won by team batting first or second) read: 66-2/88-1/109-1/75-2/70-2/68-2.

At this stage, then, as discussed before the second round of matches nine an over should be the run rate target batting first. It will be very interesting to see whether teams cotton on to that when we are another six matches down.

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 all the way

The Breakers are [1.89] and the Hikers [2.0]. If the market settles on the latter at [2.10] we'd be happy to be with them at such odds.

Still, we do not disrespect the importance of the toss at this stage - remember the bias in this tourney and every other T10 for the chaser - so we're keeping our fingers crossed that the flip goes the right way for La Soufriere.

If we can get close to [1.90] about the Hikers in-play we'll likely get involved, especially as a bit of rain late on might assist.

***

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