The Bet Enthusiast Report
England are 5/2 to win the two match T20 series against Australia and 10/11 to win the first of five One Day International between the sides that marks the end of the summer schedule but the midway point of back to back Test and limited over matches between the sides. The First Test begins in Brisbane on November 21st, a match Australia will be even more determined to win after losing three Ashes series in succession.
The Fifth Test between the sides at the Oval saw more runs scored on the final day than in any Test match in the history of the sport. It is rare for a side to bat twice on the same day in a Test match but that was only possible because Michael Clarke declared at such a time to make all three results a possibility.
At one stage England were trading on Betfair at 100.0 to win the match and that price was traded into 1.25 as the match reached its climax. With England requiring just 21 runs from four overs the umpires took the players of the field due to bad light. They were booed afterwards but they had no choice in applying the rules and it is the regulations rather than the officials that led to the match ending in such an unsatisfactory manner.
Bet Enthusiast followers could still have collected on the correct score of 3-1 to England after Clarke set a total that could have seen Australia win the match. He was applauded for a sporting gesture but he was trying to win the match for his side and not entertain the crowd and this competiitve target was the only way in which this could have been achieved.
The umpires have no concern for the betting public but backers of England at big prices must have felt very frustrated while the layers were probably relieved that England were not given the opportunity to chase down the target that looked eminently achievable. After both sides had been strong favourites to win the match at different stages it goes down as a draw in the record books which means the main beneficiaries were the bookies who layed a win by either side.
There was also plenty of interest in England winning 4-0 or 5-0 so the draw in the final match also got some bookies out of a hole. Apparently the fading light saved some bookmakers from a huge payout and the outcome of the match at the Oval illustrates how marginal decisions can have a significant effect of whether it is the bettors or bookies that have a profitable sporting event.
Decisions are made on the basis of the rules and the status of a match and the vagaries of sport have to be written into any betting decisions. Many punters have suffered when the Ryder Cup has been decided and players concede long putts in matches that cannot affect the final outcome. In last year’s Ryder Cup Tiger Woods halved his match with Francesco Molinari when the match had been decided.
The match at the Oval was more of a One day International than Test during the closing stages. England’s target of 227 runs in 44 overs was a scenario more akin to a 50 over match. In the last ten overs the run rate was about seven, the number of runs per over usually associated with matches over the minimum length of 20 overs.
Ian Bell was as big as 8/1 to be the top run scorer for England. He was one of three players alongside Kevin Pietersen and James Anderson in this year’s squad who played in the Ashes in 2005. He didn’t make a massive contribution with the bat that year but became England’s key batsmen this time, the fourth series against Australia in which he has been part of an Ashes winning squad.
Anderson took 10 wickets in the First Test and Bet Enthusiast followers seemed to be on a winning bet. Despite still making a valuable contribution he never matched that haul over the other four matches. Graeme Swann was the top wicket taker for England, while Shane Watson and Ryan Harris were statistically the best batsmen and bowler for Australia. Bet Enthusiast’s tips in these four markets were all in the top 3 but we missed out as the selections were advised win only.
In terms of world rankings there is little to choose between England and Australia in one day cricket. India are the best 50 over side in the world on current form while Australia have a small advantage over England in the latest standings. If England win the series at the end of this summer they will then be above Australia in the rankings, with only India above them in the latest table.
Twenty20 cricket was first played in England but other countries have taken to the format, especially in Asia. Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India are in the top three positions in the T20 standings while England are a place above Australia in sixth place. They could overhaul South Africa and West Indies if beating Australia in the two matches over the next few days.
After winning the Test series 3-0 England consolidated their position at second in the 5 day match standings, with only South Africa above them. Australia were the leading Test side at the start of the new century but they have fallen to fifth place after this summer’s reverses. They will need to win the Ashes series in their own country this winter to move above Pakistan in the standings.
In terms of historical results there is very little to choose between Australia and England in T20 international cricket. As at June of 2013 England’s win rate over 61 matches is 53% while Australia have won 52% of their 60 matches in this format. England beat Australia in the final of the T20 World Cup in 2010 and have the form to justify favouritism in the two match series at the end of this summer.