New Zealand V West Indies – 3rd Test Betting

The 3rd Test between New Zealand and West Indies in Hamilton seems finely balanced at the end of Day 2, with West Indies batting first and somehow making it to 367, and the hosts on 156/3 in reply.

In the cricket betting, New Zealand are still the favourites at 2.26 on Betfair, the Draw is 3.15 and West Indies are 4.1.

The match situation sees the hosts 211 runs behind, they are struggling to play the two front line West Indies spinners (yes they picked two), and the hosts also – all going to plan – will be batting fourth on an already turning wicket.

I don’t see New Zealand as such heavy favourites, for me the West Indies are currently the team in control, but the odds don’t seem to reflect this.

This could be because of the manner of the defeat inflicted on West Indies in the 2nd Test, but even allowing for the momentum and confidence New Zealand have, this is a totally different looking wicket.

Day 2 has seen Sunil Narine bowling 22 uninterrupted Overs with figures of 22-9-43-2. I doubt very much the wicket is going to turn less as the match continues, and as I already mentioned, West Indies have two front line spinners in their side.

I kind of get the impression that once Ross Taylor goes, the spinners could reap havoc with the rest of the New Zealand batting order.

The positives for New Zealand are that the in-form Ross Taylor is still there on 56, and can anybody ever rely on West Indies to finish a job off from a position of strength?

They managed to find themselves on 86/5 in their first innings, so to come back as well as they did on Day 1 is an achievement in itself already for West Indies.

That man Shivnarine Chanderpaul again blanking out the carnage around him and scoring his 29th Test century, with no shortage of help from wicketkeeper, Denesh Ramdin, who also helped himself to a century.

Did those two have the best batting conditions late on Day 1? Possibly.

Given all this, and even allowing for West Indies’ penchant for a batting collapse, I believe it would still take a brave man to back to the Kiwis from here.

Sachin’s Final Fling

There is a game of cricket actually due to be played in Mumbai tomorrow, but this Test match will obviously – and I suppose rightly – over shadowed by the the retirement of the Little Master.

Obviously the limited overs Indian teams have moved on without Sachin over the past few years. But having said that, Sachin probably could have named his date, time and format to choose to play his final match… so with this in mind, I’m very happy that Sachin has made his final international cricket match, a Test match.

Maybe it’s time the likes of the BCCI, WICB and SLC took note.

Not that it’s likely to get a mention in all the hullabaloo, but Shivnarine Chanderpaul will be playing in the small matter of his 150th Test match. A great West Indian who gets little accolade.

What a player he is also. For years he has carried this side, and when he started playing in 1994, he was playing with some of the West Indian greats in the final throws of their careers, and didn’t look out of place with them.

Formalities and moans over, so now on to the cricket.

In the cricket betting, India are the favourites at 4/9 to win the Test match. The Draw is 5/2, and West Indies are 8/1.

Even allowing for all the obvious distractions, India should still be too strong for the West Indian team (judging by the winning margin in the 1st Test). Having said that, Shane Shillingford (13/8 to be top West Indies bowler) showed some good form and troubled the Indian top order at Kolkata, so he shouldn’t be treated lightly.

Duncan Fletcher looks to have unearthed another Indian gem in Mohammed Shami. He will be looking to build on his impressive performance last week, when he took a remarkable 9 wickets on debut.

I’ve written it many a time on this website, and make no apologies for writing it again…. this team is now Duncan Fletcher’s, and he is building a very impressive outfit.

The weather looks okay, and the pitch is expected to last 5 days. The last Test match played here seen England win, and 19 wickets go to spinners Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar. Three centuries were scored and there was a couple of 60’s, but apart from that there was no real scores of any note. This suggests runs are possible, but only if you can play yourself in first.

Sachin is 5/1 to be top Indian batsman and go out in a blaze of glory.

Ashes Betting with Sportingbet Australia

Ahead of the upcoming Ashes series in Australia, I am pleased to announce to all our readers from down under that cricket betting blog has teamed up with Australian betting giant Sportingbet, to ensure that Australians can back England to win the Ashes again.

Along with our Northern Hemisphere betting partners, William Hill (£25 Free Bet available), who cover the UK and European betting markets, this now means that cricket betting blog can cater for punters betting in Australasia as well, giving value to more of our visitors from around the world.

Sportingbet is offering a free bet up to the value of $200 for new customers from Australia and New Zealand. To ensure you get the maximum $200 free bet, you will need to deposit $200, and then place $200 on your first bet.

It is basically a 100% match up, if you feel $200 is too much, you can make your fist bet $50, and receive a free bet for $50. All bets have to be placed in Australian Dollars, and this promotion is not open to residents of South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria. Any winnings from the free bet have to be turned over once before they can be withdrawn.  

As well as a tasty free bet, Sportingbet also offer regular Promotions. In October they ran a 0-0 bore draw special on Australian A-League football matches, where you got your money back on the outright winner market if a match ended 0-0.

They also have a running promotion on horse racing called the ‘Protest Pay Up.’ If your horse is first across the line only to be beaten in a protest, Sportingbet will pay you up as a winner – this is available on all Australian thoroughbred and harness races.

Getting back to cricket, and Sportingbet currently have England as 2.00 (even money) to win the Ashes outright. They go 2.50 (6/4) on a miracle, sorry I mean Australia winning the Ashes, and 6 (5/1) on a drawn series.

If you wish to open a Sportingbet account, you can do so by clicking here…..

Pakistan V South Africa – Test Match Betting

Pakistan V South Africa – click here for Live Betting Odds

Like buses, you wait ages for a Test series, and then two come along at once. Monday sees the start of another 2 match Test series, this time between Pakistan and South Africa in UAE.

South Africa go into the series as overwhelming odds on favourites, they start the series at 8/11, Pakistan 7/2, and a drawn series starts off at 12/5.

While on paper it looks like a walk in the park for the South Africans, I do believe that if they think they only need to turn up to beat Pakistan, they could be in for a surprise. I’m sure Graeme Smith’s men aren’t that naive, they must have seen what happened to England in 2012 when they toured the UAE as the top ranked team in the world.

Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis and JP Duminy are all retuning from injury, this is basically as bad as the problems get for South Africa – and if they were not already a strong enough outfit, with AB de Villiers now wearing the wicket keeping gloves they effectively have an extra place available in the team.

Pakistan on the other hand have been patchy with their form over the past few months, mainly caused by troubles at the top of their batting, and travel sickness.

They can’t keep relying on the middle order of Younis Khan and Misbah -ul-Haq to carry the batting. Generally when they come in to bat, the team is already in trouble. I get the feeling if Pakistan are to have any chance of success in this series, they need the top order to start contributing more.

Pakistan naturally seem to perform a lot better in Asian conditions. I know that it’s true that most/all sides prefer home conditions, but it is especially true of Pakistan.

One reason why this is the case is because Saeed Ajmal can look like the best bowler in the world when he plays in these conditions, it will be very interesting to see how the South African batsmen get on against him (he is 6/4 favourite to be top Pakistan series bowler).

The 1st Test is to be played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. There has only been 3 Tests played on this ground, the first two were high scoring affairs, followed by a tight low scoring match in 2012, which culminated in England’s capitulation for 72 all out.

Full Test Match Fixtures

14th – 18th Oct – Pakistan V South Africa – 1st Test – Abu Dhabi
23rd – 27th Oct – Pakistan V South Africa – 2nd Test – Dubai

Bangladesh V New Zealand – Test Match Betting

Bangladesh V New Zealand – click here for Live Betting Odds

The first of two Test matches starts between Bangladesh and New Zealand in Chittagong on Wednesday, and although it isn’t the most enthralling sounding series, it is a fairly important series for the two teams involved.

A quick look at the ICC Test match rankings shows Bangladesh down at number 10, and New Zealand not far ahead of their hosts, in eighth place.
Bangladesh dropped down to the bottom of the rankings following Zimbabwe’s recent drawn series with Pakistan. Bangladesh have failed to kick on in the Test arena over the past couple of years, and they will surely have earmarked this Test series as a potentially winnable one. 
New Zealand have shown some good signs of improvement in the Test arena lately. They had the better of a hard earned drawn series at home to England earlier in the year, although they comfortably lost the return away series.
In the home draw against England, New Zealand played the better cricket (in my opinion) over the three Test matches. Okay, so they struggled a few weeks later in England, but conditions were perfect for the England attack.
If the Kiwi’s want to build on the impressive home performance against England, they have to be looking to win this series.
Although it was in a different format, Bangladesh doesn’t hold fond memories for New Zealand. The last time they were here (2010), the Kiwis were handed a 4-0 thrashing in the 50 Over format.
Of the nine previous Tests played between these teams, New Zealand have won eight, with one draw. Given the history between these two sides it is no wonder the Kiwis start this series as 1/2 favourites, a Drawn series is 5/2, and Bangladesh are 6/1 to complete a shock series win.

Full Fixtures
9th – 13th Oct – Bangladesh V New Zealand – 1st Test – Chittagong
21st – 25th Oct – Bangladesh V New Zealand – 2nd Test Dhaka  

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.

Ashes Betting, 5th Test, Day 5 Betting

This game looks pretty dead as a betting contest unless you fancy opposing the Draw in any way. At the start of Day 4, the odds are currently – The Draw 1/25 – Australia 10/1 – England 66/1.

As I write, the covers are on with 30 minutes to go until the scheduled start of play, and rain is ‘forecast’ to dominate Day 4.

Some might see 1/25 on the Draw as buying money, but the UK weather forecasters are renowned for not been the most accurate in the world, and I most certainly wouldn’t call it buying money.

There is a possibility of some play today, and if/when they do get out today, conditions are surely going to suit bowling. If Australia could get enough play in to bowl England out short of the follow on target, then there could be some life left in this match yet.

If England do end up following on, then they only have themselves to blame really, as they have already batted enough overs to have comfortably made the follow-on without taking too many risks.

I’m not criticising England for not been entertaining yesterday, but I do think they almost played too slow for their own good – and they certainly should be wary about playing cricket to the weather forecast.

For all the moaning about England’s batting yesterday, it isn’t England’s job to entertain. Although I have already said I believe they already should have reached the follow-on target, I can see the logic behind England’s tactics.

Australia have their tails up. They are getting loud and cocky again, Lehmann seems to be creating an atmosphere in the camp, and seems to be bringing back that Aussie brashness of old. If they can go back to Australia with a win, and some good old fashioned Pom bashing headlines, they could whip the public up and regain some self belief.

In doing what they are, to me England are dampening Australia’s enthusiasm and draining their – new found – self belief. It’s like England are saying to Australia, ‘the odds are stacked in your favour, it’s a dead rubber, we’re playing an experimental side, and you still can’t beat us.’

So I don’t blame England really. While from Australia’s point of view, they will claim the weather has robbed them (again), but until the Aussies bowl England out, I don’t really see how they can blame the weather.

Ashes Betting, 5th Test, Day 3

The draw is now the odds on favourite with the bookmakers. Rain is expected later in the Test match, so even given the fact that the pitch is expected to break up, cricket betting punters don’t see enough time for a result to be forced.
The latest cricket betting odds for the 5th Test at the start of Day 3, sees The Draw as 1/3 favourite, Australia 3/1, and England are 10/1.
That could all change with a couple of early English wickets. But come the end of today’s play, I expect the draw price should shorten further, given rain is forecast for tomorrow. So be careful if trading cricket on Betfair, or on any betting exchanges for that matter.
Day 2 was another winning day for the Australians, another day deposited in the ‘positives’ bank, another centurion in the batting line up, and more credit for Darren Lehmann.

Lehmann seems to be landing on his feet here. Even if Australia don’t force the win in this Test match, Lehmann could be all of a sudden going home to Australia on the back of some decent positives. All good for his reputation. There’s nothing better than finishing a tour on a high note (when it come to covering up cracks, that is).
On top of that he also now appears to going on the attack in a big way, ramping things up by calling Stuart Broad a cheat, snidely complaining about England’s over rate on Twitter, etc. The cynic in me suggests this is a Lehmann publicity stunt before he arrives back in Australia on the back of a good hammering (in the scoreline anyway).
I also think Lehmann’s radio interview was a bit out of order. Not the ‘send Broad home crying’ lines, etc, that’s fine by me, I have no problem with him ramping/hyping things up. 
Calling fellow pros a cheat isn’t on though, especially when you advocate not walking in the same interview – and were no different yourself when you played. This is where I have a problem with things. Lehmann basically said, it’s only cheating if you edge it to first slip. What a load of bollocks! 
This isn’t an anti Australian rant, and it’s not just Lehmann who has annoyed me. England are far from perfect, I wished Broad had walked too, I also am appalled at the way England players have started surrounding the umpires and contesting decisions on a regular basis, it’s happening way to often for my liking these days. And it has to stop. 

Ashes Betting, 5th Test, Day 2 Betting Preview

Well, if I was surprised by Australia’s team announcement on Wednesday, it’s fair to say I was absolutely stunned by England’s yesterday, as I did not see that coming in any shape or form.

It totally wrecked the betting yesterday as it was impossible to back England with any confidence, and it showed just why England had been drifting most of the morning.

If anyone doesn’t believe that some people are in the know about these things long before us mere mortals, then just look at England’s odds yesterday – prior to the team announcement.

Anyway, the cricket betting odds at the start of day 2 sees The Draw at Evens, Australia at 6/4 and England at 9/2.

It’s really all stacked up against England now, unless they can bowl Australia out in around a session today, the game is gone. Not only have England got to bat fourth on this wicket, they are effectively down to 3 bowlers – they have been since before lunch on Day 1.

Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann bowled England right back into the match after lunch yesterday. The session of cricket was proper Test cricket, and at one stage Australia were really straining under the pressure built.

Fair play to Shane Watson, he held firm and he held the Aussie batting together. I’m not convinced he is a long term number 3, but if he carries on like that, there will be no argument.

I had to laugh when I listened to Watson’s interview after the end of play. When he was asked about getting his (DRS) review right for once, he rather foolishly (in my view) declared that he thought it was an umpires call, so his ‘out’ decision would have been upheld.

So Watson effectively said that he thought the review wouldn’t be overturned, and that the Aussie team would have lost a review, showing that some things don’t really – or probably never will – change!

With England, and although it’s easy to hammer them for their team selection, at least they were prepared to experiment. I wish they hadn’t, but we can’t have it both ways. I suppose the best way to look at it from now on is, I won’t criticise them in future for being too rigid.

Despite the criticism Chris Woakes has received, I think he was picked more for his batting than his bowling, so he has a second chance to put things right – although he certainly didn’t do himself any favours with his bowling yesterday.

While the only real consolation for Simon Kerrigan is that today surely can’t be any worse than yesterday. I think Monty can safely piss on the heads of as many nightclub doormen as he wants from now until the announcement of the Ashes squad, and still be a safe pick.

On a serious note, others haven’t always been dropped when they have got into trouble. So if Monty gets his head down from now until the end of the season, I see no reason why he shouldn’t be recalled for the Ashes tour.

Using a tweet I seen last night to finish with, it read Kerrigan can still save his reputation with a well made 98 batting at No.11 #Ashes – source was the excellent @RichieBenaud_ 

Ashes Betting, 5th Test Betting Preview

Can England create history and make it 4-0? This seems to be the main question now. Will England be true to their word and look to create history? Or will a leggy England turn up in body, but not in mind and get beat?

And what about the Aussies, can they really recover from the crushing blow of Durham? Or are they now totally shot and just looking to get the tour over with, and back home?

The odds seem to suggest most think England will win, but without the conviction of earlier in the series. Ashes betting odds sees England at 11/10, The Draw at 9/4, and Australia are 11/4.

England have been odds on at the start of most (maybe all) Test matches so far this series. So a drift to odds against suggests cricket betting punters aren’t totally convinced by them.

I see it going one of two ways with England, as the shackles are basically off as there is now no pressure of a drawn series, England may well go out and play with freedom and flare, and destroy Australia. Or they may just turn up, feeling tired and lethargic, go through the motions, and get beat.

As for the Aussies, well I don’t know where to start. I don’t really want to hammer them on here and then have to watch them beat a complacent England going through the motions, but what on earth are they doing with their team selection?

Bringing in James Faulkner for Usman Khawaja, what’s that all about. I get having a look at James Faulkner, but at the expense of a batsman?

Their batting is clearly their weak point, so how do they strengthen it by dropping a batsmen for another all rounder (to go with ShaneWatson and Steve Smith), and moving Brad Haddin up to number 6? What’s that all about, and what does it do for the confidence of Usman Khawaja and Phil Hughes?

If the two are to be jettisoned permanently after this series, and Australia have already decided this, and have other batsmen (not on this tour) in mind, then fair enough. If not, then it is more chopping and changing, and more undermining players, as what does Phil Hughes have to do to get a recall to this batting unit?

Mitchell Starc is back again, he must feel like he’s been doing the hokey-cokey on this tour. And speaking of the hokey-cokey, Shane Watson has got another move in the batting line up, with a promotion (yes, a promotion) up to number 3….. ahead of Khawaja and Hughes.

I could be proven wrong, but I’m afraid as it stands, I really just don’t get it.

The pitch is supposed to be another dry dust bowl expected to turn later in the Test match. Although there is a rumour that it is supposed to be quicker and bouncier than usual. Looking at the pitches Andy Flower has had prepared so far this series, a quick and bouncy pitch seems a bit unlikely to me.

Even allowing for a change to the pitch with the series over and the expected return of Chris Tremlett, will the groundsman have had time to readjust from what he has already been preparing?

The last 5 matches at The Oval have seen results. Some of them have been down to teams needing to force a result, and some have been because teams are already on the plane home. This makes getting a feel for how the wicket behaves more difficult, because conventional cricket methods (when to declare, etc) can go out the window.

Onto the weather, and the forecast looks decent, although there is potential thunder storms predicted, but overall I don’t expect much play to be lost.

From my betting perspective, I suspect a flat batting pitch, so I would want to see how it behaves before I have a bet. There seems to be a bit too much uncertainty about the pitch as things stand. I also want to see who wins the toss before getting  involved, as it could be a problem for whoever has to bat fourth on this wicket.