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Vincy Premier League is off to a rollicking start and the teams that started of well continued to build on their momentum on the second day of the tournament as well. Apart from Greadlines Divers and Fort Charlotte Strikers now have at least a couple of points to their name. Botanic Garden Rangers are the last team to get off the blocks and will be looking to continue their winning run. Up next in the tournament, the Rangers are set to play against Salt Pond Breakers. The Breakers have done a terrific job up until now and are comfortably placed at the top of the points table.
A string of losses early in the tournament can deflate the confidence of even the best in the business and the Rangers will be looking to avoid getting into that kind of situation. Breakers, on the other hand, will be looking to get to the top with a win here, and will likely leverage there momentum to accumulate two more points in this upcoming match. The two teams will lock horns on Monday, 25th May, at Arnos Vale Sporting Complex, St. Vincent.
There couldn't have been a better start to the tournament for the Salt Pond Breakers. They first emerged on top against Grenadline Divers and then went on to defeat Fort Charlotte Strikers. Their win over Fort Charlotte Strikers was considerably big, which gave their net-run a big boost, pushing them to the top of the table.
While the Breakers looked a little scratchy against the Divers, they didn't leave any stone unturned against the Strikers. Arguably the most experienced player in the tournament, Sunil Ambris used all his experience hand dragged his team to a towering total. He looked in complete control right from the word go and was dismissed after a 29-run knock. While the presence of Ambris is certainly a boon for the Breakers, there isn't much meat available in the middle-order. Delorn Johnson and Wesrick Strough played brisk knocks that drove the team's total to 88.
Their batting appears to be dependent on just a couple of players, but they have a well-rounded bowling attack. The Breakers followed up their terrific bowling performance against the Divers in the first match with yet another brilliant performance. Apart from Wesrick Strough, who was carted for 28 runs in his four two overs, all other bowlers kept discipline and gave almost nothing away in their respective spells. Sunil Ambris proved effective with the ball as well as he returned with the superb figures of 2 for 8 in his two overs.
The Breakers certainly are a solid unit, at least on paper. Sunil Ambris' experience came in handy in both the matches not only in the two departments of the game but also in the decision-making with respect to fielding and bowling changes. Salt Pond Breakers have played to perfection so far and considering the form the Breakers are in, getting past them is not going to be easy for the Botanic Garden Rangers.
Seon Sween, Sunil Ambris, Rickford Walker, Kadir Nedd, Donwell Hector, Jeremy Layne, Urnel Thomas, Delorn Johnson, Javid Harry, Wesrick Strough, Benniton Stapleton.
Botanic Garden Breakers had a heart-breaking start to the tournament, but they quickly followed it up with a vital win to stay amidst the thick of things. They are currently placed fourth on the ladder and a win here could push them in the top-half provided the other results go their way.
With Kesrick Williams available in their lineup, the Rangers do not have any dearth of on-field experience. However, he hasn't been able to leave any impression in the tournament so far. The Rangers were defeated by La Soufriere Hikers in a contest that appeared to be a mismatch at the end. Botanic Gardens Rangers learned from their defeat and then cruised to a superb win in their second match, which was against Grenadlines Divers.
Bowling first against the Divers, the Rangers' bowlers utilized the surface to the perfection and kept things nice and slow. The Divers were never allowed to score easy runs and were consequently restricted to a total of 66. Kenneth Dember was the pick of their bowling as he returned with exceptional figures of 2 for 4 in his two overs. While Kesrick Williams and Kavin Abraham proved economical, they failed to cause any damage. Casnel Morris, who is a part-timer, bowled his over brilliantly and picked up the wicket of dangerous looking Asif Hooper.
Although their chase didn't get off to the kind of start they were hoping for, the total to chase was too low to put any pressure on their batting unit. After the departure of Joey Welcome, leaving Rangers at 12 for 2, Hyron Shallow and Kevin Abraham partnered to add 40 runs that came at a pretty good pace. The Divers picked up the wicket of Abraham in the seventh over, but it was too little too late to cause any troubles for the Rangers. Rangers sealed the deal with 15 balls to spare and seven wickets in hand. Hylon Shallow scored 36 off just 17 balls and was the pick of their batsmen. He was ably assisted by Kevin Abraham, who scored 25 off 13.
On paper, the Rangers appear be a well-balanced side and they will certainly enjoy playing in these conditions. While Williams didn't do anything spectacular in his previous outing, he did appear to be beginning to get hold of the conditions. Also, the luxury of having six overs of spin at their disposal can come in handy on the slow surface of Arnos Vale.
Oziko Williams, Romel Currency, Joey Welcome, Hyron Shallow, Atticus Browne, Kevin Abraham, Kenneth Dember, KOK Williams, Kimali Williams, Romario Bibby, Casnel Morris.
Looking at the overall statistics of the tournament so far, it is difficult to get to a conclusion as the team batting first has won five matches and the team batting second has won four matches. However, the win percentage for a team is getting better with every passing match and that is evident with the fact that only once in the last six matches has the team batting second emerged on top. The numbers, therefore, might push the teams to restrategize and ponder upon their decisions of fielding first, which has been the trend so far. Although the surface is unlikely to change between the two innings, electing to bat first might well be the way to go for the captain winning the toss in this fixture.
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As seen in the tournament so far, playing through the line and hitting on the up have both been difficult for the batsmen. Consequently, the scores thus far have hovered around the 80-run mark and that can be considered a par score. With temperatures ranging around 30-degrees mark, there is enough heat in the air to further dry the surface. Having said that, the teams are slowly getting acquainted with the pace of the surface and we can expect higher scores in the matches to follow. The team batting first will be looking to put a total of at least 90 runs on the board to stay in the competition.
Check out the Dream11 Fantasy lineup for the upcoming Vincy T10 Premier League match between Salt Pond Breakers and Botanic Garden Rangers
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Both sides are coming off wins in their respective matches and they both will be looking to carry on with the momentum. Also, the battle between Sunil Ambris and Kesrick Williams will be the one to watch out for. The Rangers appear to be a little too over-reliant on Sunil Ambris to inflict the damage in both departments. On the other hand, the Rangers have done pretty well even without a significant contributions from Kesrick Williams, their marquee player. Considering that as well as the combination of the two sides on paper, the Rangers appear to be better placed to topple Salt Pond Breakers in the upcoming encounter between the two sides.
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