Ed Hawkins crunches the key numbers for the big questions ahead of game four from St Lucia on Thursday...
"Simmons has a brilliant win rate in the last two years - giving an implied probability of 31.2%"
West Indies v Australia
Thursday 15 July, 00:30
TV: live on BT Sport
Is Gayle reliable for another score?
Chris Gayle is as crazy as a palm tree in a hurricane. After a first half-century in T20 internationals since 2016, Gayle decided it was time to go into full Universe Boss mode and attempt the world record for third-person references.
"Don't mind the numbers, Chris Gayle not getting the runs, soon to be 42. You guys should be happy to see Chris Gayle on the field still, hopefully Chris will last as long as possible. Cherish those moments, commentators don't put up no stats about Chris Gayle not scoring a half-century. Just respect the Universe Boss, let him play cricket and have some fun. Enjoy the moment with Chris Gayle, a strong West Indies team and some good youngsters."
The numbers included 102 runs in nine innings previously to game three and a win rate of zero in nine on top bats. Sportsbook have cut Gayle from 7/2 into 11/4 favourite, and then boosted him to 10/3 for a repeat. So, is Gayle a man to trust for back-to-back scores?
Using a score of 30 or more as our filter, we can get an idea of whether Gayle's form has been patchy in the last two years. Here are his scores: 8/13/0/10/0/68/12/99/24/53/60/23/22/0/23/69/30/99/5/20/15/46/2. That is a runs per innings mark of 30, which is more than healthy. He has top-scored six times in that sequence.
Stick with Simmons
Twice this series we've wagered Lendl Simmons for top West Indies bat. We're going to go in for a third time. There seems little wrong with this form so why not?
The key, as ever, is a wrong price. Simmons has a brilliant win rate in the last two years as you can see from the data below. His win rate on those numbers gives an implied probability of 31.2%. At 16/5 Sportsbook give him implied probability of 23.8%. That's a hefty chunk in our favour.
Perversely, Sportsbook go 5/4 for 29.5 runs or more for the hard-hitting opener. He's notched such a mark 20 times in his 49 innings (two years). The 5/4 is not quite value.
There is also an edge on Evin Lewis, his opening partner at 7/2. Yet it is no way near as big so when faced with another option we take the biggest in our favour. Kieron Pollard is a bet at 5s. If he doesn't play (he has a hamstring injury) then it's money back.
West Indies top bat wins/matches last two years
Aaron Finch has once again dipped over the value radar. The 16/5 Sportsbook offer is not quite big enough. We would need him to be boosted to get involved.
So Finch frustrates. As we said in our preview for game three, he has consistently let down this column when he has been advised. Last time out he looked on course to notch a rare win but he was pipped by Moises Henriques.
One price of interest might be the cheap-looking runs quote for Matthew Wade. Sportsbook offer 5/6 for over 18.5. Going back to the 2018 Big Bash, Wade has passed that mark 20 times out of the 38 innings he has opened in. Close, but no cigar.
Australia top bat wins/matches last two years
M Marsh 3/12
West Indies top bowler wins/matches last two years
Thomas 3 2t/8
K Williams 2 3t/8
Pierre 1 t/7
Walsh 1 t/10
Pollard 1 3t/24
Bravo 2 2t/15
Allen 1 3t/16
O McCoy 4 2t/9
Australia top bowler wins/matches last two years
A Agar 4 4t/19
Zampa 2 3t/21
K Richardson 4 3t/17
Swepson 1 t/3
J Richardson 1/5
Hazelwood 1 t/4
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