Australia v Sri Lanka Third T20 Betting: Dunk's got the funk for home crowd

Ben Dunk has terrific Adelaide form
Ben Dunk has terrific Adelaide form

Ed Hawkins previews the final game of the series, which has already been won by the tourists, and he expects a homeboy to come good...

"There is also a nagging doubt that, as outsiders, a third consecutive win is beyond Sri Lanka in a helter-skelter format"

Australia v Sri Lanka
Wednesday February 22, 08:50
TV: Live on BT Sport

Australia, or The Australians as they should be known given this is a representative XI, are two-nil down. Serves them right for agreeing to a contest and then not taking it seriously.

Most of the recognisable Aussie faces are in India - David Warner, Steve Smith, the Marsh brothers, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc - so it is no surprise they have looked unbalanced.

They have not got depth in their batting. Aaron Finch, Michael Klinger and Travis Head are specialists. Then you've got a mix of keeper-batsmen in Ben Dunk and Tim Paine and all-rounders.

The result has been solid starts but a failure to really punch on to post an imposing total. They should have defended 173 in Geelong but the old Australia illness of being ill-disciplined at the death returned to haunt them.

Sri Lanka
It is worth pointing out that Sri Lanka's victory in game two was an extraordinary heist. At 119 for seven they looked beaten. But Asela Gunaratne had other ideas.

He launched a brutal assault, taking 84 from 46 balls. His timing was perfect in the game context but also from the IPL auction. He bagged himself a deal with Mumbai Indians.

Sri Lanka have now twice chased with aplomb so they might want to test themselves with a bowl first. Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Kulasekera are rolling back the years at the moment and it's great to see this unheralded country make a comeback.

There is no Niroshan Dickwella, who has been handed a two-game ban for dissent. Kusal Perera takes the gloves and his opening berth, too.

First-innings runs
This will be a drop-in pitch so one cannot wholly rely on past scores. In the Bash this season the returns were (1-2 denote game won by side batting first or second, most recent first): 171-1/161-2/152-1/206-1. Last season no team managed more than 159 batting first. In three T20 matches the chaser has won going after 157 and 154 but not 188. Australia lost all three.

Match odds
A 1.491/2 Australia plays a 3.02/1 Sri Lanka. Given the two results so far it should, of course, be a much more competitive betting heat. And we would not put anyone taking that price about the tourists.

The only worry we have is whether they might sub-consciously relax, reckoning the job done. There is also a nagging doubt that, as outsiders, a third consecutive win is beyond them in a helter-skelter format.

Top Australia runscorer
Finch top scored in the last T20 on this ground so will be supported at 3.613/5. But it is Dunk who has ground form. This is his home venue in the Bash and he top scored in all four of Adelaide Strikers' matches at the Oval. He managed 32 in Geelong which suggests he's seeing the ball okay. But the 4.216/5 on the exchange is no rick. Instead there might be 1.84/5 available that he scores 25 or more.

Top Sri Lanka runscorer
With Dickwella out, Sri lanka are shorn of one of their most reliable batsmen. Mendis is 5.49/2 with Upul Tharanga 4.47/2. Gunaratne is 4.47/2 but he is available at 5/1 on Sportsbook. We still like Chamara Kapugedera at big numbers, even if he has dropped down the order. At 16/1 with Sportsbook there are worse gambles.

Recommended Bet
2pts B Dunk to score 25 or more at 1.84/5

Ed Hawkins P-L

2017: +9.87pts
2016: +18.1pts
2015: +38pts
2014: +31.5pts
2013: +25pts
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. New points system (0.5pt-5) introduced for 2017.
*Follow Ed on Twitter @cricketbetting

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