Shock Horror, Another Test Match To Follow

Shock horror, don’t pinch yourself, you are not dreaming, but there is another Test match starting tomorrow morning in Zimbabwe. Not a marquee fixture, granted, but nevertheless hosts Zimbabwe are taking on Pakistan in the 5 day format in Harare.

This is the first of a two match Test series, with the 2nd Test due to be played in Bulawayo on 10th September.

This match was in doubt up until Monday afternoon due to the Zimbabwean players threatening not too take the field due to a dispute over unpaid salaries.

All of these off-field upheavals surely can’t have helped Zimbabwe, and the cricket betting odds suggest this with the hosts massive outsiders. Online bookmakers have Pakistan at 2/7, The Draw 7/2, and Zimbabwe 10/1.

Pakistan looked nailed on really, all the indications point to a win for the visitors. On top of the dispute over money, Zimbabwe have struggled to take wickets to such an alarming extent that even their coach, Andy Waller seems to be suggesting his team will struggle to get the 20 wickets needed to win a Test match.

Onto Betfair cricket trading, and this looks like it could be one of those Test matches that doesn’t have great liquidity, but can still offer plenty of trading opportunities. Sometimes in these sort of non marque matches, there are massive gaps in the markets that can be exposed – particularly overnight.

Rather than just getting stuck into the Pakistan win bet, I think I will start off by looking to pinch a couple of quid here and there from trading. And then wait and see how the match develops, before maybe having a bet later on.

Betfair Cricket Trading – Some Confidence Restored

Going into the 4th Test my confidence was a bit shot. I had made a mess of the 3rd Test by throwing away a winning position on the evening of the 3rd day, by staying in my trade and hoping for a bigger win. As has happened in the past, this can influence decisions when I next have a bet.

To start with, I do believe my performance in the 3rd Test did initially influence my decisions in the 4th Test. In the end though, I managed to put it all out of my head. I actually think I eventually did a good job of isolating my cricket trading down to just this (4th) Test match.

On Monday morning, I was happy to sit on my 5% green. That was until seeing Australia trading down at sub 1.25 in their run chase.

In isolation I thought that was worth a lay. I wasn’t convinced the lay bet would come off, but I was happy that it was a value lay. This is where I managed to put what happened in the 3rd Test out of my head and place my lay, accepting it could lose, but understanding that it represented good value. And if it did lose, I shouldn’t be too hard on myself.

If the truth be told, I didn’t expect Australia to lose the match in a session, and I had traded out long before their batting collapse. I suspected England might win, but it was never my intention to let my lay bet run, just in case they didn’t.

I placed it with a view to Australia losing two to three quick wickets and being at around 200/4 or 5, I then thought I could either trade out for at worst scratch, or a nice win. As it turned out, I got out for a nice win on the loss of Michael Clarke’s wicket.

I then left about 5% (of my betting bank) green on Australia, 30% on England, and I had a very large percentage green on the draw (which wasn’t worth laying at the high odds).

Despite the win, I still have a bit of a long term doubt in my mind though. Was my lay of Australia too risky? I know the result suggests not, but for a period of time after lunch it actually looked like my faith in England was misplaced. And realistically, the bet should have lost.

Was it a trade I placed, or was it a bet? And if it was a bet, was it a value one?

Should I have just sat on the 5% profit I had made trading the previous night?

These are decisions I need to make. Do I look for riskier big wins, or do I play safe and look to take around 5% a Test match, with minimum risk to my betting bank?

I don’t think I can continue to do a mixture of the two, I believe I need to decide one way or the other. I need to formulate a betting/trading process in my mind, and work on it until I am happy it is as good as I can get it (or maybe even perfect it).

I can’t continue losing big like I did on the 3rd Test, and wiping out 2 to 3 Test matches worth of winnings.

Ashes Betting, 4th Test, Day 4 Betting

I nearly accepted the tide had turned before play started yesterday, and as England toiled on 49/3 just after lunch yesterday, I was ready to finally admit it had.

Then along came Ian Bell, and he spared me the indignity of having to come on here today and concede defeat.

Bell has put England back on the front foot, and this is reflected in the cricket betting odds as the bookies now price it up as England 8/13 – The Draw 10/3 – Australia 10/3.

Although England are on the front foot, they are still not save. England still need the tail to wag. Matt Prior isn’t having his most productive series to date, so Ian Bell will have to stay in this morning if England are to set the Aussies 300 to win.

Rain is also predicted today, which is probably what is keeping the draw price so short.

Australia will have a good go first thing this morning, seeing them off will be the first task for Bell and Bresnan. Ryan Harris will no doubt put everything into his bowling this morning and go for broke. He has nothing to lose now, the series will be dead for Australia if they don’t win this Test match. It’s pointless Harris saving himself for the 5th Test now.

From a betfair cricket trading perspective, I managed to turn my 13% (of betting bank) loss into 5% profit with an overnight trade on the draw.

I knew there was rain expected today, at the close of play yesterday I backed the draw at 5.3, and then put a lay up at 4.4 and left it overnight. When I got up this morning, it had been matched. The draw was actually available to lay at 3.9 when I checked…. much to my frustration.

I think I will adopt a watching brief now, and wait and see if the weather offers up any decent trading opportunities.

Ashes Betting, 4th Test, Day 3 Betting

I’m on the verge of accepting momentum has turned, but not quite yet. Definitely Australia’s Test match so far, and this is reflected in the betting, as the online bookmakers now have Australia as odds on favourite.

The current cricket betting odds are Australia 4/5 – England  5/2 – The Draw 3/1.

I think the odds represent a fair reflection of where the match is. It isn’t impossible for England to get back in this Test match. If they could bowl Australia out with a 50 run lead and then bat well, they could regain parity.

Even if England could bowl Australia out cheaply this morning (the more likely of the two scenarios), they haven’t shown the form with the bat to suggest they could bat Australia out of the Test match though.

Rain is in the air later for Day 4 and 5, so that keeps the Draw in with a slight chance.

I was very happy for Chris Rogers getting his century. It was a good innings, possibly a match winning one. He threatened it at Old Trafford, and I was pleased to see him complete the job this time.

Rogers unfortunately seems to be one of these ‘unfashionable’ cricketers who will never be accepted by some, and will always have that stopgap feel about his career. Not my view, just the vibe I pick up. So it’s good to see him get some glory and positive headlines for a change.

I seen Mike Selvey tweet earlier that it was the best century of the series so far, not sure I’d totally agree that it was the outright best, but it’s certainly up there with the earlier Bell centuries as one of the best of the series.  

I’m in a bit of a hole with my Betfair cricket trading. I was laying Australia yesterday, and things were going well up until the Rogers, Watson partnership. I suppose I can’t keep expecting Watson to get himself out in the 20’s, so serves me right.

It’s not a massive all round loss, about 13% of betting bank at the moment. Although I’m not convinced Australia will win, I think I will play safe and square my loss up this morning, and just take my medicine. My main concern is that I just can’t rely on England’s batting.

Ashes Betting, 4th Test Betting Preview

If all the reports are to be believed, Australia are in the driving seat, they have all the momentum, and now should roll England over quite easily in the 4th and 5th Test matches to draw the series 2-2.

And that’s just for starters, after that, they are going to destroy England in the return series down under.

Don’t quite see it that way myself. England don’t have to be cautious any more, I think the pressure is off them now, and I expect them to be more like the England side that played at Lord’s.

I agree that England were poor and outplayed at Old Trafford, and Australia would have easily won, had it not been for the rain. They certainly need to buck their ideas up ahead of the 4th Test, that’s for sure. They seem to have slipped into a ‘let’s just do enough mentality,’ and that could cost them in the long run.

That doesn’t mean this will be the pattern that the rest of the series will follow though, despite what the media have been telling us all week.

Cricket betting punters seem to disagree with much of the media also. If Australia are so nailed on why are the cricket betting odds as follows???

England are 10/11 – The Draw is 13/5 – Australia are 11/4

We could be wrong though, I certainly was with my betfair cricket trading selections last weekend!!! There was a point on Saturday when I could have traded out for a nice profit, but I decided to stay in my trade, and it ended up costing me all of my series winnings so far.

When Matt Prior and Stuart Broad were at the crease, I could have took a reasonable size win there and then. Instead I took the position that Australia might wrap up the tail, and I could win more. I don’t think that was the worst trading tactic to employ, my mistake was not getting out for scratch after it didn’t happen.

Even after that I could have got out for a single figure loss, but I put too much emphasise on believing Michael Clarke would make a generous declaration, and in my delusion, took my eye off the weather. My mistake, and I rightly got punished for it.

Onto today’s Test match, and like Old Trafford, Durham’s Riverside Stadium doesn’t have much recent Test match history to go on (this is only the grounds fifth Test match).

In the past, I’ve regarded Durham as a seaming wicket, which I believe is more down to the groundsman preparing pitches to suit Durham’s strength – for Steve Harmison and Graham Onions, etc. If Andy Flower has had any of his usual negative influence on the type of pitch we will get, that is the last sort of wicket we will see this week. It will be like every other pitch we have had so far this series.

Will England shake the bowling up? And will Australia play Ryan Harris in back to back Test matches? Those are the two main questions. England like Bresnan and Braod for their batting, even though they are picked to bowl.

The Aussies will probably tinker with the batting line up and bruise Shane Watson’s ego. I don’t see him getting dropped, as he is an invaluable 5th bowler. Australia’s Paul Collingwood if you like 🙂

Ashes Betting – Looks Like The Weather Wins!

Not much to be had here from a cricket betting perspective, as the match is over barring a miracle. For anyone still fancying a bet, the odds are, The Draw 1/100 – Australia 16/1 – England 66/1

I’ve made a bit of a mess with my trading of this Test match. I started off with a lay of Australia, and had I left things as they were, I would be in a nice position now.

On Saturday I finished off by stating be very careful if trading the draw. Apparently incapable of heeding my own advice, this is exactly what I didn’t do, and I now find myself looking down the barrel of a nice big loss. I wasn’t quick enough at cashing out last night when the Umpires were conferring over the light, and the rest is history.

It was totally my own fault, as I knew it was time to get out, but didn’t move quickly enough to get the desired price. And then I dug in hoping the weather might come good today, which it doesn’t look like doing, so 100% my own stupid fault.

Moving onto the Umpires, and I’ve tried to steer clear of criticising them in this series so far, but my patience has finally run out with the ridiculous decision to take players off for bad light yesterday. Yes, the conditions weren’t great, but international cricket has been played in far worse conditions than that.

The Umpires will be able to hide behind the law book when attempting to justify this decision, but it is yet another example of cricket shooting itself in the foot. And it wasn’t the only bad call from the Umpires yesterday, as they either didn’t notice (hard to believe), or chose to do nothing about England’s continued time wasting tactics – another thing that doesn’t help the image of cricket.

Onto a more positive note, and I’ve been impressed with David Warner’s attitude with all the stick and mickey taking he has had to endure in this Test match. Yes, he has brought it all on himself, but he has laughed it off and handled it all in quite an impressive manner.

From what we have been led to believe by the media, Warner is an explosive temperamental character who is quite likely to throw his toys out of his pram in the face of such banter, but the evidence I can see suggests this not to be the case.

Ashes Betting – 3rd Test Day 3, Betting Preview

If the bookmakers odds are too believed, it looks like we are betting on either an Australian win, or some good old fashioned English weather, in this Test match.

The odds are currently, The Draw 4/7 – Australia 6/4 – England 16/1

Any remote thoughts of an England win in this Test match disappeared not long after lunch on Friday, and it now looks like England have slipped into survival mode.

Joe Root’s painful innings and the decision to send in Bresnan as (some sort of) night watchman with around 30 minutes of play left certainly gave off a massive negative vibe from the England dressing room.

Not that I’m suggesting they should be going all out for a win from this position, as I’m not, that would be stupid. But I do feel a little more positive intent wouldn’t go amiss (watch me slagging England off tomorrow now for throwing their wickets away).

Not much value to be had from trading the outright winner result on Betfair. I’ve tried to nick a couple of quid here and there to get rid of my current single figure losing position, but have had little success there.

It seems like it is going to be a case of the draw shortening every time a partnership develops, and then it will sharply jump at the fall of a wicket, only to shorten again almost immediately afterwards. Could be some money to be made there I suppose, but it can be a risky strategy.

If you lay first and England drop anchor and bat out a session without losing a wicket, the draw price will vanish. If you back first, and England lose a couple of quick wickets, you will playing a waiting game for the price to come back in again.

The weather forecast for Sunday and Monday doesn’t look great either, but the mid range one didn’t look too clever for Friday or today either.

All in all, be very careful if trading the draw.

Ashes Betting – 3rd Test Day 2, Betting Preview

Could any chance of the whitewash have gone yesterday? Possibly, as England have some work to do to get back in this Test.

It was always going to happen, England couldn’t expect to dominate every day of every Ashes Test match, and Day 1 proved this to be the case. It was also proof that nothing can be taken for granted in this great game, as Australia showed England that they can play.

Australia are now in the stronger position, but not necessarily in the box seat. This is reflected in the odds, as the Draw is now favourite with the online bookmakers.

The Draw is 8/13 – Australia are 2/1 – England are 6/1

This is the sort of match situation made for David Warner. He is not going to come out and play a conventional Test match innings, as he isn’t that sort of batsman. Warner is stroke player, this match situation is perfect for him, there is no scoreboard pressure on him, and he will be able to express himself and play with freedom. At the same time, conditions are going to be different on Day 2, and the ball could maybe talk today.

Yesterday was probably the first time in three Tests that someone has played properly in the 1st inninngs. What happened yesterday, should have happened in the first two Test matches. Win the toss, bat properly in reasonable to decent batting conditions, and the draw odds shorten.

With the fragility of both teams’ batting, it would have been hard to have the confidence to put your money on the draw with a view to trading out after the expected draw price crash. If you had done that in all three Test matches, you would be 1 from 3 at the moment.

In all honesty I haven’t a clue how to call this one now. Australia should press on from here, but from what we have seen so far in this series, they are just as likely to be all out by lunch. Warner could come in and smack a ton in 75 balls, it could rain, take your pick!

I placed a lay of Australia on Betfair pre lunch yesterday, and although their price continually shortened from that moment, due to some green I had from pre Test match trades, I could have traded out for a small profit right until the start of the last hour yesterday evening.

In the end I traded out last night for a single figure loss, just to play safe, as I can’t see where we are going here. If the draw continues to shorten, and the weather forecast looks okay, I may lay the draw later on in the match. For the time being though, I plan to sit back and wait and watch now, and see if an opportunity arises.

Ashes Betting – 3rd Test Betting Preview

Even the possibility of not having Kevin Pietersen in the side didn’t really scare the punters off from backing England. The days of England needing to rely on Kevin Pietersen’s batting seem to be long gone.

The hosts looking to go into a 3-0 lead and to wrap up the series, are again – obviously – heavy favourites. Online bookmakers currently have England at 8/11 – The Draw at 11/4 – Australia are 7/2.

If Pietersen is fit, I imagine England will be unchanged, as I can’t see them playing two spinners. I’m not sure if bringing Monty Panesar into the squad was just to re-familiarise him with his team mates, or to try and further spook the Aussies about their lack of spinning options.

Australia on the other hand will almost certainly bring David Warner back into the batting line up, and will relieve Ashton Agar of his duties, with Nathan Lyon coming back in as the spinner. They will probably replace the injured James Pattinson with Mitchell Starc.

There has not been too many Test matches at Old Trafford in recent years, and the pitch has been turned around, so there is no real international form to judge the wicket on. In domestic cricket, Old Trafford is regarded as a turning pitch.

If you have been trading cricket on Betfair, you will already have noticed plenty of price fluctuations, particularly on the draw.

The draw – currently trading at around 3.80 to 3.90 – has already traded as high as 4, and down below 2.7, mainly due to the longer range weather forecast before last weekend, as opposed to Kevin Pietersen’s calf injury (in my opinion).

The more I bet on cricket, the more I see that learning to read a weather forecast is nearly as important as learning to read a cricket match. Money can be made or lost, just trading price movements based on weather forecasts.

With this Test match being played in the (probably falsely) notorious rain hotspot that is Manchester, the weather needs to be watched closely – as it always does. Despite all the reports that it is going to be fine, Friday, Saturday and Monday look dodgy to me.

This will probably lead to the draw odds shortening, but as is always the case in England, it can lead to dark clouds, swing, and shortened Test matches…. so beware!

Ashes Betting – 2nd Test, Day 4

A fairly slow day on Saturday seen England bat Australia out of the 2nd Test and put themselves in a position to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series. The damage was done on Friday, and from a cricket betting perspective the Test match was over thanks to Australia’s abject batting performance.

For anyone still brave enough to have a bet on this Test match, the online bookmakers are pricing it up as follows….England are 1/16 – The Draw 8/1 – Australia 33/1.

The big question today really is when will England declare? Australia are already 566 runs behind, and should England declare now, their is still enough time left in this match for them to chase the runs down, the chances of that happening are very, very, very unlikely though – to say the least.

In a way I understand England carrying on batting, as they are slowly grinding the Aussies down and breaking their resolve. At the same time though England already have more than enough runs to win, all they are doing now is giving Australia less time to bat out for the draw. I think Alastair Cook will look very stupid if Australia manage to salvage this, especially if they are 9 down at the close.

There is still possibly some cricket trading options available on Betfair, expect the draw price to shorten the longer England bat, and obviously England’s price will also drift. Trading the England price is very painstakingly slow though. Their is hundreds of thousands of pounds currently queuing up there, it took me about 5 hours to get a back and a lay matched yesterday.

Also, if Australia manage to build any partnerships there could be some trading to be done on the draw price. And then there is the 2nd innings total runs market. With the Test match already gone for Australia, will they bat with freedom and play shots? Or will they crumble again?