A 1st test win despite Ed Cowan’s strike rate

The first test between West Indies and Australia was a topsy turvy affair that tested patience and discipline when it came to betting on the outcome.

I originally started off with a speculative outlay on the Draw with Betfair as I picked up the vibe straight away that the pitch was docile.

I don’t like backing the Draw and I only did this with a view to laying it when, as expected, the odds came tumbling in. The price at the time was 3/1, which seemed very generous given the general consensus of how the pitch was likely to play.

Then a sense of reality kicked in and I thought to myself  ‘this is West Indies batting here, they could collapse on any given surface,’ so I quickly layed my bet off to get my money back. I did regret this move badly by the end of Day 2 when the draw was priced up somewhere around the mark of 1/3 to 1/2, a nice profit could have been made there alone if I’d stuck to my original bet.

By this time though, I was actually in a bit of a hole. After I layed off my Draw bet, I took the decision to back Australia at increments between 4/5 and Evens. Given the state of the match and the fact that Australia were now about 6 or 7/1 to win the match, I was now in a position where I needed a batting collapse from someone just to have a chance of getting my money back.

What I did next was start laying. The odds on Australia and West Indies ebbed and flowed a bit during Day 2 and Day 3, whenever one came in to about 4/1 or there about, I layed it. I also layed the Draw when it came into 1/4, I couldn’t ignore that price. I basically layed all three outcomes at differing intervals whenever the odds shortened.

The final two Aussie 1st innings partnerships involving Ryan Harris finally turned the match on it’s head betting and result wise. This really cashed in my West Indies lays and effectively turned it into a two horse race betting wise between the Draw and an Aussie victory.

At this stage I could have got out of my bets for a minimal loss, compared to where I was at the end of Day 2, this was a result in my eyes.

I decided to leave my liability on the Draw and my win money on Australia (and West Indies, although irrelevant as they were well out of match in my view). At points on Day 5, I did lay Australia a bit to ensure profit if it ended a draw, but that was just me being way over cautious.

I did notice at times on Day 5 that there was – what I would call – good chances to cash in on massive price movements. If I hadn’t of had a certain amount of red on the Draw at one stage (pre my Aussie lays) on Day 5, I would have layed it more.

There were times when one or two overs of slow run scoring by Australia would see the Draw price come right in, a major over reaction. This was then balanced out by massive price swings back towards an Aussie win if a 4 was hit, it was ridiculous really.

I was quite content that Australia were just keeping things tight until Tea and would go for it afterwards, so with this in mind I just sat on my bet until I layed the Aussies late on just in case of a calamitous spell of batting.

I must admit that Ed Cowan’s strike rate of 34 when chasing a target did make me a bit jittery, but on the whole I was confident that the Aussies would deal with him if necessary, even if it meant orchestrating a Botham/Boycott style run out.

Some easy cash could have been made on Day 5 alone, with this in mind I wonder if I am better off just sitting back and waiting next time, rather than just backing Australia solely on the basis that it is West Indies that they are playing and that they only need to turn up to beat them – which is basically what I did in the last test.

Although after all that, my original Aussie bet would have won.

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