Hawkeye on West Indies v Australia Second T20: Line up for Lendl

Lendl Simmons
Simmons is value for top bat

Ed Hawkins says reading the pitch right is crucial to making a profit on game two in St Lucia on Sunday...

"Slow left-arm Agar is 5/1 with Betfair Sportsbook when he should be closer to 4/1. It was slightly surprising he went wicketless in game one"

(1pt) Back Ashton Agar top Australia bowler 6.05/1

West Indies v Australia
Sunday 11 July, 00.30
TV: live on BT Sport

Openers at advantage

The wicket at the Darren Sammy Stadium is the main focus for the side markets for game two. It looked stodgy and hard to score on so we have to factor that into our thinking.

Australia's collapse (six wickets for 19 runs) to lose the match was dramatic. But it was not altogether surprising. On slow, low surfaces which take spin, Australia struggle technically. They also struggle with temperament. They have the lowest strike rate for Nos 5-7 of any team since the last World Cup. They just don't know whether to stick or twist.

So it was a perfect storm for West Indies. We expect similar situations to occur in the final four matches, all of which will be at the same venue. The wicket, surely, is not going to get any better for runmakers.

So how to play? Well, as discussed in our match preview we need to be smart on the match odds. The teams should go hell for leather in the first powerplay before they get tied down. Likewise, expect wickets in clusters. As Australia proved it is hard for the new batter to get to grips with the track before they become affected by scoreboard pressure.

For the top batsman market, we favour the openers simply because the powerplay gives them a huge advantage for easier runs. For the home side both Lendl Simmons and Evin Lewis have appeal. At 3/1 and 16/5 respectively Simmons gives us an edge of 10.7% on win rate versus implied probability and Lewis, alas, is in the red.

Kieron Pollard did not play in the first match due to a hamstring injury. He was a major fancy for honours. Sportsbook have cut him from 13/2 to 11/2. We don't expect him to play but we will still recommend him with money back for non-runners.

As for the Aussies, surely they will know they have to hit out up front. They did go for it at the beginning of the chase. Matthew Wade and Aaron Finch are 11/4 and 3/1 with Sportsbook. Wade is not even close on win rate while Finch needs a price boost for us to get involved.

A price of note is the 15/8 that non fifty is scored in the first-innings. Historically there is no data to support the wager but this could be an example of betting with your eyes instead of your spreadsheet. The wicket is not bowler-friendly.

West Indies top bat wins/matches last two years
Pollard 7/23
Lewis 5/20
Hetmyer 1/20
Gayle 0/8
Simmons 5/14
King t/11
Allen 1/15
Russell 1/7
Australia top bat wins/matches last two years
Warner 6/11
Maxwell 1/13
Finch 5/20
Smith 2/15
Wade 3/13
M Marsh 2/10
Stoinis 1/9
Philippe 0/6

Agar worth a follow

Talking of bowlers, where is the value for the top wicket-taker markets? Do we favour the pacers, the spinners or the in-betweeners?

Well, the first rule is to ensure we take a price which gives us an edge on the win rates below. Alas, there is only one candidate. Ashton Agar of Australia.

Slow left-arm Agar is 5/1 with Betfair Sportsbook when he should be closer to 4/1. It was slightly surprising he went wicketless in game one. The pitch should suit him as much as it did Hayden Walsh, the West Indies spinner.

There are such slim pickings on top bowler because both teams have been inconsistent in selection over the last couple of years. West Indies have had 14 different winners on the market and Australia 13.

The 11/4 West Indies favourite Obed McCoy, who won in the first match and claimed the player of the match award, is an interesting case. He is on the threshold of being taking seriously in the market but the study sample (nine games) is just a little on the skinny side. He has the ability to vary his pace well.

West Indies top bowler wins/matches last two years
Cottrell 4t/17
Narine t/3
Thomas 3 2t/8
Paul 2t/7
K Williams 2 3t/8
Pierre 1 t/7
Edwards t/5
Walsh t/9
Pollard 1 3t/24
Bravo 2 2t/14
Allen 1 3t/15
O McCoy 4 2t/9
Sinclair t/6
Holder t/12

Australia top bat wins/matches last two years
A Agar 4 3t/18
Zampa 2 3t/20
Starc 2t/13
Cummins 2t/10
K Richardson 4 3t/17
Maxwell t/13
Henriques t/4
Tye 1t/2
Swepson 1 t/3
J Richardson 1/5
Meredith 1/3
Stanlake 2t/2
Hazelwood 1/3

Ed Hawkins P-L

2021: +32.45
2020: +5.91
2019: +37.25pts
2018: +23.53pts
2017: +12pts
2016: +18.1pts
2015: +38pts
2014: +31.5pts
2013: +25pts
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. Includes Hawk-Eye column p-l

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