St Kitts & Nevis Patriots v Barbados Tridents
Wednesday 12 September 23.00 BST
TV: live on Sky Sports
Patriots flying high
The Patriots are buzzing after a record chase against Jamaica Tallawahs on Tuesday night. Facing Everest at the break – they needed 242 for victory – they scaled the peak with ease, not even requiring the full quota (seven balls to spare).. Record CPL scores were busted twice on the same night.
Devon Thomas top scored as Patriots capitalised on his good form by promoting him to open. He smashed 71 from 40 balls but he was, in fact, the anchor. Evin Lewis, Sussex's Laurie Evans and Fabian Allen batted like men possessed. The Patriots even had time for their customary wobble losing three wickets for one run.
The less said about the Patriots bowling the better. Sheldon Cottrell, their most reliable wicket-taker, was left out of the XI with no word about an injury. If he has a niggle, it is unlikely he will be fit with such a short turnaround.
The Tridents have played only once so far and the less said about that the better, too. They were thrashed by 47 runs against the Guyana Amazon Warriors in a perplexing performance.
Bowling first with the heavy Providence toss bias in their favour, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Sherfane Rutherford and Nic Pooran tucked into a lightweight bowling line-up. Between them, they hit 12 six-es. The only bowler who showed any control was Nepalese spin genius Sandeep Lamichhane. So what did skip Jason Holder do? Give him only one of his four overs. Baffling.
A chase of 183 was never on. They lost Alex Hales for a golden duck and were five down by the eighth over. It was the sort of effort that makes you think this is going to be a long, hard slog for the Tridents.
More big runs
The first-innings scores at Basseterre in the last two editions of the tournament (1-2 denote match won by team batting first or second, most recent first) read: 241-2/168-2/206-2/199-1/168-2/162-2/208-1/168-2. The Patriots proved that chasing is the sensible option for toss-winning captains and punters alike. This is a cracker of a wicket.
Keep toss on side
The market has not been enamoured by the Patriots' record chase. The hosts are [2.0] and the Tridents [1.92]. Our bafflement at such a rick is tempered by immaturity.
But if those odds were to hold – they surely won't – we would be very keen to get on the home team with the flip in their favour. In reality, if they were chasing we could expect to get [1.80] about them.
In-running, there could be more gold. The Tallawahs were [1.08] at the break and hit a low of [1.05]. Keep fingers crossed, though, that it is the Tridents who are not chasing. They could be the team to buck all trends this year.
Hales no fun
After two games copping at 5s for top Patriots bat, Thomas has now been cut to 11/4. Gravy. Train. Derailed. Jolly Evin Lewis let down backers again and we're not rushing to take the 21/10. Evans catches the eye at 4s but do bear in mind he's not opening the batting.
Hales is 11/4 favourite for the Tridents. He has little to beat. One hopes that he has packed his brains for his sojourn. If so, he should find the wicket to his liking. We can't bet him, though. He is no way near an 11/4 chance on career form and Hales is one of those who you absolutely must bet with all the numbers on your side.
Another chance for Emrit
The Patriots top bowler market is providing us with angst. In game one we had a dead heat between our man Cottrell and Emrit. Then we switched to Emrit for the last two matches because the odd were out of line with his previous two-year win rate – 45.4%. With Cottrell likely to miss out, we have to hold our nerve and go in again at 7/2 with Sportsbook. Ordinarily we'd be all over Lamichhane at 7/2 for top Tridents bowler. But how can we after Holder's stupidity?