Colombo Kings v Jaffna Stallions
Friday 4 December 14.30
TV: live on Sky Sports
Colombo Kings are all about batting power. They have two wins from three and rely heavily on hitters and muscle rather than guile and brains with the ball.
Andre Russell, Angelo Mathews and Laurie Evans are a rapid-scoring unit. But they need to be. They conceded 219 in their first game, managing an extraordinary tie thanks to their power. A five-over thrash suited their capability and they blew Galle away before a defeat by Vikings under pressure in another chase.
Possible XI Chandimal, Evans, S de Silva, Russell, Mathews, Priyanjan, Udana, Qais, Chameera, Prasad, Vandersay.
Stallions four from four
Jaffna have won four out of four. Last time out they beat Galle with a chasing masterclass. Set 171 they timed it perfectly with Avishka Fernando hitting 84 from 59 balls. Minod Bhanuka made 40 from 26 to trump that strike rate.
With Shoaib Malik and Thisara Perera in the middle order and Usman Shinwari and Duanne Olivier providing excellent pace options they appear to be the best-balanced team in the tournament.
Possible XI Fernando, Moores, Bhanuka, T Perera, Shoaib Malik, DM de Silva, PW de Silva, PC de Silva, Shinwari, Olivier, Lakmal
Scores so far (most recent first, 1-2 denote match won by side batting first) read: 156-2/170-2/185-1/175-1/196-1/218-1/96-1(5overs)/195-1/175-2/219-t. Just a few signs that wear and tear on this pitch is beginning to take its toll. The Hambantota surface won’t be able to stay flat and true for long and as the tournament goes on we expect a more sluggish surface. That gives us an opportunity on the innings runs market. We can lay 150 and 160 or more with low risk because of those early runs and at the death end of the tournament we will be taking low risk on 130s and 140s.
Jaffna a jaffer of a bet
Colombo Kings are 1.8810/11 and Jaffna 2.0811/10. Those odds make no sense. Given the toss bias we would expect those to flip if Jaffna batted first. But as the numbers are wrong in our opinion, and we rate Jaffna a better all-round team, we can take the 2.0811/10 now and trade in-play for a profit regardless of the toss. Jaffna should trade as favourites at some stage because of that leaky Kings bowling.
Fernando is 3/1 with Sportsbook for a repeat of top-bat honours for Jaffna. They go 7/2 about Dinesh Chandimal notching for Kings, not a price we recommend taking.
Russel is 8/15 to hit a six and 8/13 to hit a four and six. The 7/4 that both team score 180 or more will be popular but we tend to shy away from such a bracket because of the changing pitch.