The Bet Enthusiast Report – Ashes Cricket
England are now a best priced 2/9 to win the Ashes this summer after beating Australia by 14 runs in the First Test. Bet Enthusiast followers were advised to back a correct score of 3-1 to the home side and after the first match that outcome is a distinct possibility. The weather may intervene in one match but the strengths of the teams points to relatively low scoring matches and results in most cases.
Before play began in the series England could be backed at 6/1 to outscore the Aussies by three matches to one over the five match series. That price has shortened following the first game and is now the most likely outcome on the basis of current prices. Some pundits were suggesting England could win each Test but despite the lack of stellar names you rarely see a poor Australian cricket side.
Indeed after England could muster just 215 when batting first Australia became favourites to win the Trent Bridge Test. There were swings in momentum over the course of the five days as both sides gained some ascendancy only for the opposition to have a decent session. In the end Australia came up just short of their target of 310 runs.
No side batting fourth had scored that number of runs to win a Test at Trent Bridge. Despite the fact that England required just four wickets to win the match on Sunday the ground looked full. I’m not sure what the pricing policy is for the fifth day of Test matches and it could have been free entry but it was remarkable to see such a huge turnout for what could have been just 30 minutes of cricket.
As it transpired play took place until after lunch and in retrospect Australia may feel they lost some momentum when they had to retire to the pavilion for the second meal of the day. The break allowed Sky Sports seemingly unlimited squad of ex England captains to speculate and provide some insight into the mental state of the opposing players.
The shifting fortunes in the match were no more perfectly illustrated than by the innings of Ashton Agar, a Test match debutant batting at number eleven. One of the abiding images of the match was the lady in the green outfit who rose to her feet as Agar swept on 98 only for the same lady to hold her head in anguish as the teenager was caught and came up just short of magnificent century. It was his mum!
An interesting topic of debate is Ager’s batting average at the end of the series. Given good weather and more low scoring matches the young Aussie should have eight more innings in the current series. After the first match his average is 61 and clearly that won’t be maintained. Even so if he continues to approach the game positively and without fear there are at least another two fifties in his locker over the rest of the summer.
Sporting Index accounts for 70% of sports spread betting turnover so they are the go-to firm when researching spread markets. They were caught out by Ager’s innings as he is not quoted in their player series runs markets. He may be introduced ahead of the Second Test but I’d be a buyer at about 20 in view of his ability and the number of opportunities for him to bat during the remaining four matches.
One of the ante post bets recommended by the Bet Enthusiast service was Jimmy Anderson to be the top England wicket taker at 7/4. The Lancastrian is now as short as 4/9 to be the top bowler for his country in the series. He was clearly the best bowler in either side and his ten wicket haul took him to number three in wickets taken for England.
Anderson has now taken 317 wickets for his country and only Bob Willis and Ian Botham have amassed a greater total of wickets for England. Botham tops the statistics with 383 wickets so it was interesting to hear him speculative on Anderson’s tally at the end of his career.
Anderson is already aged 30 so Botham’s assessment that he could reach 500 wickets seemed on the optimistic side. It seems a certainty that Anderson will become the leading wicket taker for England but it is debatable whether he can accumulate another 183 wickets. In his favour is the busier schedule of matches in the current era but even given five more years at his best a final tally nearer 450 seems more feasible.
England have announced that they will select from the same squad of 13 players for the Second Test that begins at Lords on Thursday. Steven Finn’s place looks under most threat as he did not bowl at his best in Nottingham. Sporting Index do not include him in their range of bowling index markets which suggests their odds compilers believe he will be dropped.
The rest of the England side just about picks itself but in any case Ian Bell looks to have earned his place for the rest of the series after scoring the only century in the First Test. The player himself believed it was one of his best knocks and he certainly felt he had not played better against Australia.
Bell is now given the highest total runs quote of any player in either squad and the spread firms anticipate his final tally will be over 425 runs. In order to reach that total he will need another big score and players higher in the order will need to underperform. Alistair Cook scored 63 in the first match and I’d more interested in buying his total at 410 than Bell at 15 runs more.
In the context of Australian run scoring over the course of the series Shane Watson is expected to score marginally more runs than Michael Clarke. The captain of Australia is 36 runs behind his compatriot ahead of the second match. Recent form suggests Clarke will record a big hundred at some stage against England. He will have to play better in subsequent matches if he is to approach or beat his anticipated total of 370 runs and avoid more Anderson corkers.
If England lose a test match then BetVictor will refund any bets placed on them up to £10. Also new customers get a free £10 bet when they open an account
If England lose a Test Match BetVictor will refund losing bets (excluding 3-Way Match Bets) as a FREE BET up to £25 on that particular match! It is worth backing England at odds of 10/11 up to £25 and if they lose this test match (July 18th – 22nd July) Betvictor will give you a free bet of up to £25 to carry on betting throughout the series.
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