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  • Posted on September 24, 2016 by Selby

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    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

  • It is underestimated how hard it is to bat fourth in Tests Back England from 1.70

    Posted on August 4, 2016 by Selby

    England are shorter than they were (1.58) before the off and although we expect them to win, any sort of resistance in the second innings from Pakistan could see the price drift. Indeed, as we move towards a fourth-innings chase we would hope that there could even be some flip-flops.

    That is, of course, dependent on Pakistan showing resilience with the bat. These will be the toughest conditions they have faced so far on tour. The skies are overcast and there is plenty off the pitch and through the air. James Anderson, Chris Woakes (on his home ground), Stuart Broad and Steve Finn are a potent line-up.

    The portents are not good. Pakistan were rolled for 72 in 2010 with Anderson (four wickets), Broad (four) and Finn (two) a three-man wrecking crew. Granted only Azhar Ali, of the batsmen, survives but it is personality rather than personnel which is key. The character of the batsmen in this Pakistan team is similar, not to mention the culture.

    As we have said many times before players from the sub-continent are not used to seaming and swinging wickets. They are alien. So it is a mighty steep learning curve, even for the likes of Misbah-ul-Haq, who rather surprisingly is on his first tour of England.

    Pakistan made a better fist of batting in the second innings in that match. They notched 296 thanks to some unexpected grit from Zulqarnain Haider, the wicketkeeper. A repeat of that should put the game finely in the balance.

    Historically, tourists who have bowled first have scored well in the second match innings. Totals of 314-308-336-576-397-343 suggest a ding-dong affair awaits.

    Those are numbers we shouldn't get too excited about, however. The timeline is a ten-year one from 2008 to 1998. Likewise the toss bias. In the last six Tests that have produced results five have been won by the team bowling first. Four of them by England.

    We will be looking to get with England at prices from 1.70 and up because of the difficulty Pakistan should face having to make a score batting last. They might be able to hold off England's bowlers once, but twice is surely an Everest in these conditions.

    It is underestimated how hard it is to bat fourth in Tests. The psychological pressure is often intolerable for batsmen, who play injudicious shots in the fear that, sooner or later, they will get one with their name on.

    It is underestimated by cricketers themselves, oddly. Time after time we see captains bat on too long in the third innings so they set an improbable target instead of focusing on the number of overs they need.

    Cook, in this regard, can a threat to a bet on England as we have discussed here. He has cost England victory before and will do so again. In favour of a wager on England here, though, is the fact that the hosts are level in the series.

    At Old Trafford when he failed to enforce the follow-on Cook feared defeat - and almost certain series defeat - that he took overs out of the match instead of getting on with the job.

    The worry of a chase in the fourth innings preyed on his mind on that occasion. That fragility is caused by the pitch, a worn, crumbling surface which has often had upwards of 200 overs. Uneven bounce, footholds and the two-paced nature of such wickets make batting hard.

    Pakistan, although they would never admit it, would fear a chase of anything of 250 or more. So their second innings is pivotal.

    If they achieve parity then we have the potential of a fourth-innings thriller with favouritism swinging this way and that. If they don't, a 50-run lead for England should ensure victory. That is five runs fewer than that first-innings average. It wouldn't be a surprise if they won by a 50-60 runs gap, too.

    Recommended Bet

    Back England from 1.70

    Fourth-innings chases at Edgbaston

    124-2 Eng v Australia 2015
    118-1 Eng v Pakistan 2010
    283-5 SA v Eng 2008
    81-4 Eng v SL 2006
    279 Aus v Eng 2005 (target 282)
    222 WI v Eng 2004 (target 479)
    211-3 Eng v NZ 1999
    Pakistan fourth innings averages

    Hafeez 43.06
    Azhar 24.8
    Asad Shafiq 48
    Misbah 42.28
    Yoiunis 59.17


    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

  • Posted on July 31, 2016 by Selby

    Australia v England 1920/21. Official 'Orient Line S.S. Osterley' card with centre colour image of the ship at sea in colour. With titles to top border 'Visit of M.C.C. team to Australia 1920/21' and dates of voyages from London and Australia in 1920/21. The top border has been titled in ink, to the left border 'England' and to the right 'Australia' with columns and scrolls beneath. Signed in ink to columns and scrolls by the full seventeen members of the M.C.C. touring party and by fifteen members of the Australian team including both managers. Rarely seen in such excellent condition. A scarce item.


    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

  • Nicholas 'Felix' Wanostrocht. Kent & Surrey 1834-1852.

    Posted on July 31, 2016 by Selby

    Small two page handwritten letter, headed Blackheath, from Felix to W. Smithson, Secretary of Kent C.C.C. dated Saturday 9th 1849. 'Dear Sir, I shall have much pleasure in playing in the Gentleman's match at Lord's on Monday July 2nd and the return match at Canterbury in the August week commencing the 20th. Will you oblige me by letting me know if you wish me to play in the Kent v England at Lord's and at Canterbury- as soon as you can- as if not I have the opportunity of accepting other invitations which I ought to answer soon. Pray remember me to all friends- and to the ladies my profound devotions and...believe me as ever Yours sincerely N. Felix'. Nicely signed by Felix. A rare letter


    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

  • Australia v England 1920/21. Official 'Orient Line S.S. Osterley

    Posted on July 31, 2016 by Selby

    Australia v England 1920/21. Official 'Orient Line S.S. Osterley' card with centre colour image of the ship at sea in colour. With titles to top border 'Visit of M.C.C. team to Australia 1920/21' and dates
    of voyages from London and Australia in 1920/21. The top border has been titled in ink, to the left border 'England' and to the right 'Australia' with columns and scrolls beneath. Signed in ink to
    columns and scrolls by the full seventeen members of the M.C.C. touring party and by fifteen members of the Australian team including both managers. Rarely seen in such excellent condition. A scarce item.


    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

  • Start winning on Betfair Cricket

    Posted on July 5, 2016 by Selby

    We are well aware England are superb chasers but this might be one of the rare occasions they could come unstuck. A little complacency could be ok

    Recommended Bets
    Back Sri Lanka if they bat first at 3.60
    Back S Prasanna top Sri Lanka bat at 17.00 (Half stakes)

    Tuesday July 5 18.30
    TV: live on Sky Sports
    EnglandEngland have shuffled their pack for the T20 after their comprehensive 3-0 ODI series success over Sri Lanka. Dawid Malan, Liam Dawson and Tymal Mills could all make their international debuts.

    Malan was big news in 2008 when he smashed 103 off 51 balls against Lancashire for Middlesex in the T20 quarter-finals. He was promoted to the England performance squad the same year before losing his way. Only in the last couple of years has he found consistent form again.

    Dawson is a batsman who bowls useful left-arm spin and is a tenacious player. Of the three -included in a supposed pool of strong England reserves - Mills is the most interesting. He has genuine left-arm pace and has restricted himself to limited-overs to prolong his career.

    Eoin Morgan will lead, Jason Roy and Jos Buttler will blast but there is no Alex Hales, Joe Root or Moeen Ali.
    Sri Lanka

    Sri Lanka will have to make do and mend with the personnel who were thoroughly outplayed in ODI. Everyone must surely hope they prove to provide more competition in the shorter format.

    They should certainly be troublesome to contain with the bat. Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal has superb series while the strike rates of Upul Tharanga, Danushka Gunathilaka and Seekkuge Prasanna suggest they will be more suited to the thrash and bash.

    Mathews, however, is likely to be the only bowler capable of containing England. Suranga Lakmal was pretty tight but there's not much to get excited about with the ball.
    First-innings runs

    The T20 scores at the old Rose Bowl since 2015 are the following: 158-1/143-1/186-1/181-1/157-2/172-1/172-2/173-1. Those are some consistent scores and 165 should really be breached.
    Match odds

    Sri Lanka haven't managed a win yet. There best chance came last time out in a Cardiff on a wicket which had proved helpful to bowlers and they had the crucial advantage of the chase. But they blew it.

    So one could be forgiven for feeling agitated at the prospect of betting them here. They are 3.40with England no fun at all at 1.39. But we're going to have to swallow hard and get on with it.

    A toss bias of seven wins from eight for the side batting first means we have to take on the favourites. And we can at least console ourselves that they are a little weaker without Hales and Root.

    We are well aware England are superb chasers but this might be one of the rare occasions they could come unstuck. A little complacency wouldn't go amiss, either.
    Top England runscorer

    Openers Roy and Vince are 4.00 and 5.00 respectively. Malan is 5.00 with Buttler looking great value at 7.00. Sam Billings is probably also overpriced at 15.00.
    Top Sri Lanka runscorer

    Mathews and Chandimal dominate at 5.50 and 4.50 respectively. But the big hitting Prasanna has to bet at 17.00. He should be half that.
    Recommended Bets

    Back Sri Lanka if they bat first at 3.60
    Back S Prasanna top Sri Lanka bat at 17.00 (Half stakes)


    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

  • Fast bowling at its best

    Posted on July 5, 2016 by Selby


    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

  • Betting at Lords

    Posted on June 14, 2016 by Selby


    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

  • Sri Lanka frustrated by umpiring calls in third Test at Lord's

    Posted on June 14, 2016 by Selby

     

    For the first time in eight matches, a Test in England went into a fifth day.

    Each of the five Ashes Tests in 2015 were done and dusted long before that, while Alastair Cook's side took just three and four days respectively to defeat Sri Lanka at Headingley and in Durham.

    However, a combination of Sri Lankan grit and wet weather ensured we had five days' play at Lord's - but what five things did we glean from the action at The Home of Cricket?

    Nick Compton howls after nicking off for 19
    Nick Compton howls after nicking off for 19

    Curtains for Compton?
    It's probably safe to say that England are hunting for a new No 3, with Nick Compton's demise for 19 second time around at Lord's leaving him with just 117 runs from his past 10 Test innings. What made Compton's dismissal particularly galling was that he looked in decent nick while deputising for Cook as opener with the skipper having bruised his knee, the batsman smoking a boundary through point and pulling for four through square leg before snicking behind.

    The chances of him adding further Test runs to his tally 775 from 16 matches now appears slim, with Durham's Scott Borthwick - 574 runs and three hundreds in 2016 at an average of 82, over 1,000 runs in each of the past three seasons - an obvious candidate to slot in behind Cook and Alex Hales against Pakistan. Other options are Essex's Tom Westley, Middlesex's Sam Robson or promoting Joe Root or James Vince from their respective No 4 and No 5 berths.

    Scott Borthwick has three Championship tons this season
    Scott Borthwick has three Championship tons this season

    England's selection quandaries
    England have a few other dilemmas, too. Jonny Bairstow is, to quote Lawrence Booth from the latest episode of Cricket Writers on TV, "batting like a god" with two tons in the series, including a Test best 167 at Lord's, but he has made a couple of fumbles behind the stumps, with a catch off the bowling of Chris Woakes grassed in north London. So, should the selectors consider recalling the destructive Jos Buttler and allow Bairstow to play as a specialist batsman?

    Plus, with Ben Stokes set to be fit for the majority of the Pakistan series following knee surgery, will he return in place of the man that has impressed in his absence, Woakes, or Steve Finn? Woakes is in top form, bowling quicker and at far superior batsman, though England may be reluctant to omit a man of Finn's pedigree - he has 120 Test wickets, height and bounce that can frighten any batsman, and destroyed Australia on his Ashes comeback last summer.

    Jonny Bairstow - will he keep the gloves?
    Jonny Bairstow - will he keep the gloves?

    DRS and a harsh no-ball
    Sri Lanka were on the receiving end of some unfortunate decisions at the Home of Cricket. Their review to have Bairstow trapped lbw on 56 was scuppered when the decision stayed with umpire's call despite ball-tracking showing a large portion of leg stump would have been clattered. Then, Nuwan Pradeep was wrongly adjudged to have overstepped by umpire Rod Tucker when he bowled Hales in England's second innings.

    The solutions? Well, Mahela Jayawardena has confirmed that the ICC are considering a change to the DRS rules, whereby only 25 per cent of the ball and not the current 50 would need to be striking the wicket for a decision to be overturned, while Sky Sports expert Bob Willis feels the fourth umpire could stop "putting sugar lumps in tea" and call front-foot no-balls so that the on-field umpires can focus on the goings-on at the batsman's end.

    Nuwan Pradeep glares at the line after being wrongly adjudged to have overstepped
    Nuwan Pradeep glares at the line after being wrongly adjudged to have overstepped

    Rain doesn't have to be a pain
    Sure, wet weather in the capital affected day four and then dented both England's hopes of earning a series whitewash - it would have been just their fourth in Test cricket since 1978 - and Sri Lanka's chances of pulling off an unlikely run chase of 362 by returning on day five, but the precipitation outside meant two cricketing legends - Shane Warne and Jayawardena - could deliver masterclasses inside the Sky Sports Zone.

    First, Warne discussed the art of leg spin, going into depth about how best to turn the ball, what pace to bowl at, when to send down your variations and which field settings best aid a young tweaker. Jayawardena thenexplained how players should bat against spin, why Warne was so tough to negotiate, and how pick length, sweep and use your feet. The demos are a must-watch for any budding cricketer and you can catch them in full On Demand.

     

    Shane Warne delivers a leg-spin masterclass in The Zone, explaining how to spin the ball and generate drift to batsmen
    Shane Warne delivers a leg-spin masterclass in The Zone, explaining how to spin the ball and generate drift to batsmen

     

    Exciting ODIs in store
    Much of Sri Lanka's brittleness from the early part of the Test series has gone - although they did suffer a disappointing batting collapse at Lord's - meaning the impending five-match ODI series, which begins at Trent Bridge on June 21, should be a belter. Hales will enter the contests as a man in form, with three fifties in five Test innings, while the tourists probably won't relish facing Bairstow again after his electric batting earned him a white-ball recall.

    If we get anything like the sides' meeting at the ICC World T20 earlier this year, when Buttler smoked 37 from 66 balls and a hobbling Angelo Mathews walloped some ginormous sixes to give England more than a few jitters during the run chase, we're in for a treat. Plus, Sri Lanka will be looking for another ODI series triumph on these shores, having prevailed 3-2 two years ago, despite being skittled for just 67 in defeat at Old Trafford!

     

    Will Alex Hales take his Test form into the one-day arena?
    Will Alex Hales take his Test form into the one-day arena?

     

    Watch England and Sri Lanka's five-match ODI series live on Sky Sports, starting with the opening match, at Trent Bridge, from 1.30pm, on Tuesday, June 21.

     

     


    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

  • New Zealand v Pakistan ODI Series Betting: Pace aces could spring a surprise

    Posted on January 23, 2016 by Selby


    New Zealand and Pakistan meet in the first of three ODI on Sunday night and following the topsy-turvy nature of the recent T20 series, the live on Sky showings should make for entertaining late-night viewing.

    The first game takes place in Wellington with the hosts expected to carry on from where they left off - a 2-1 win in the shortest format. They are 1.50 with Pakistan 2.60. The series market is iature but expect the Kiwis to be a couple of points shorter.

    So the tourists have been largely written off. Could that prove to be folly? With bat and ball they should be competitive. Ordinarily there is a concern about Asian sides in conditions which assist bowlers, but Pakistan surely have an attack which can beat the hosts at their own game.

    Indeed, Pakistan could field a terrifying and torturous pace trio. Wahab Riaz is set to take the new ball with Mohammad Amir, returned to internationals following his ban for corruption, while the giant Mohammad Irfan has the potential to unsettle the Kiwi batsman in the middle overs.

    Wahab is one of the quickest in the world and so long as his energy and commitment levels are right, then he will be a threat. Only Trent Boult, with 39 wickets, has taken more than Wahab's 32 in the last 12 months. His average of 27 and strike rate of 31 should not be sniffed at.

    Amir's fall from grace was well documented and his appearance in the T20s were his first since being carpeted. He managed only one wicket in the three games and was expensive but they were crucial outings as he re-emerges and he should be close to finding some rhythm.

    Irfan provides a safety net if Amir is not at it. He has a reputation as a shock bowler but stock may be a more appropriate word were it not for the steepling bounce he can generate. He has a better economy rate than Wahab in the last year although his 24 wickets in 19 games have cost 31 each.

    Those three will have to be at their best if they are to trouble a New Zealand batting line-up which is formidable in the last year. Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor are Nos 1,2 and 3 respectively on the runscoring charts. They have played more games than most yet their averages are monstrous - 58, 55 and 67 respectively.

    Can Pakistan match that batting prowess? Nope. They have experience and nous in the shape ofShoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez, who are, would you believe, ninth and tenth on the Pakistan all-ti,e run lists. Azhar Ali, Ahmed Shahzed, Asad Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed are solid but this is not a line-up which is going to bust more than 300 regularly.

    Only once against a top eight side have they breached 300 in the last year. Compare that to New Zealand who have done it seven times.

    The problem for Pakistan is power hitting. They lack a No 5 or No 6 who is going to come in and change the tempo of an innings. Grant Elliott and Luke Ronchi are capable of that for the home side.

    Still, strengths and weaknesses can cancel each other out. And Pakistan may feel that they can match a bowling attack which is without Tim Southee due to a back injury. There is no Brendon McCullum, either and with a series against Australia looming, don't be surprised if the Kiwis rest key men.

    New Zealand have won five of their last six home series. They beat Pakistan 2-0 in January last year. But Pakistan won 3-2 on their previous visit in 2011.

    It would be pushing it to claim that Pakistan will therefore be able to cope comfortably in conditions which are alien to a team which plays most of its games in Asia. Their record on the road outside of the sub-continent is surprisingly good. They have won four of their last six against top eight sides.

    There is, however, an element of the unknown in this series and that puts the focus back on Amir. In time (probably after he has returned this summer to England, scene of the crime) he will be just another player. For now he has tainted. And so Pakistan have a challenge which no side has faced before: how to welcome back a corrupted player?

    Pakistan are no strangers to schisms and friction and are probably better equipped than any other international team to cope with dressing room unrest. They invented the term.

    Amir's performance in the T20s could have been a result of that disharmony and skipper Azhar has made no secret of his desire for the young paceman to be kept out of the game. He tried to resign over the issue.
    But as we always say, it is hard to predict a team's performance. Harder still to predict what is going on in between its ears.


    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia

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