Plenty of wickets on Saturday is the order of the day if my lay of the draw in the 2nd test between
Englandand South Africaisn’t going to go down the pan fairly quickly.
I think it would be fair to say that I, along with
England, badly misread the conditions at Headingley when putting my bet on last Thursday morning.
To leave out Graeme Swann for a fourth seamer shows that
Englandexpected the ball to do a bit on the first morning, either because of the pitch, or overhead conditions.
By picking this team, and then inserting
South Africa after winning the toss, it’s obvious that England expected conditions to suit bowling, so I’m not going to get too down on myself for laying the draw at 2.56 on Thursday.
In hindsight that now looks a bad call as the draw is now trading at around 1.42, and unless England lose early wickets tomorrow that price won’t be drifting any time soon with bad weather still around.
Anyway, I think I need someone to come and take my shovel off me as I’m still digging myself a bigger hole. I’ve had another lay of the draw, this time at 1.42. I’m basically looking to trade off some of my red, so I really need some early wickets on Saturday in order to claim some losses back.
Unless there is a dramatic collapse by
England, it’s hard to now see this game ending in anything other than a draw. I think the Headingley pitch seems to be playing well, and only an inspired spell by someone exploiting overhead conditions can force a result here, I would imagine.
Add to that the fact that there is weather around, South Africa will probably settle for a draw, and even if England get themselves in a position to win and need to bowl South Africa out on Day 5, they have no spinner.
So all in all, damage limitation looks my only option now in this test match.
Onto the 2nd test match between
West Indies and New Zealand. Late on Day 1, West Indies were 1.38. I’m sorry, but I couldn’t leave that alone, it was a must lay.
In my view the worst case scenario from there was the Windies batting for a couple of days and gaining a lead of around 200 runs. If this had happened,
West Indies wouldn’t have shortened much below 1.38 – maybe to around the 1.25 mark?
With the possibility of
West Indiescollapsing – not out of the question, and the possibility of a storm (apparently tropical storm Ernesto is in the region at the moment) – not out of the question, a lay at 1.38 was the only sensible bet.
I’ve now covered my Windies lay after they duly collapsed. I’ve also had a small lay of
New Zealandafter they bowled West Indies out. As a result I have a smallish green on West Indies, with an average green on New Zealand and a fairly decent sized green on the draw.
So come on Ernesto, where are you? By the way, don’t forget to tell you mates in the rain clouds to stay away from Headingley.