Australia v Sri Lanka Third T20: MCG outfield provides much-needed betting option

Lasith Malinga
Malinga needs to up his game
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Ed Hawkins expects a mismatch in the final game of the series but there are still value bets to be had from the MCG on Friday...

"Australia are [1.13] and Sri Lanka [8.0]. Look, we don't think any top-table team should be as big as Sri Lanka are here"

Australia v Sri Lanka
Friday 1 November 08.10
TV: live on BT Sport

Maxwell out

Australia have not been required to get out of third gear in this series yet. It has been as one-sided as it gets and although that often creates problems for punters, the form of David Warner would have been a fillip.

Warner has been well-backed twice for top runscorer honours and he has delivered twice, even seeing off a surprise, and rare, charge from Steve Smith at The Gabba last time out. Backers of Smith take note: he still has only three wins on the market in 32 career matches.

There will be changes for the Aussies. Glenn Maxwell is out after revealing a mental health battle. It is a terrible shame for the man, who has been in awesome form with the bat and in the field. It is proof that the illness can strike at any time in a person's professional life, good, bad or indifferent.

D'Arcy Short has been called up as Maxwell's replacement but we're not sure he will play. Ben McDermott is the next cab off the rank. Micthell Starc is also available again after missing game two for his brother's wedding.

Sri Lanka struggling

Sri Lanka have been awful, failing to even get a grip on a game. How on earth did they manage to beat Pakistan 3-0?

In Brisbane they batted first, which would have been welcome after they bodged their toss call in Adelaide, but that's where the good news stopped. They were ponderous and at 65 for four in the tenth the game was up. Kusal Mendis is a far better player than returns of 0 and 1 so far.

It is hard to find any positives. Kusal Perera made an attractive 27 but a man of his experience really should have gone on. Lasith Malinga's figures look pretty, too, but Australia lost a single wicket and had 42 balls in the bank.

For more context, that 27 is their highest score and Malinga's one wicket is one of three they have taken in the series. It is, frankly, pathetic.

G wicket revamp

There have been five T20s at the MCG in the last five years. The scores (1-2 denote match won by team batting first or second) read: 132 (19 overs, no result)/137-2/168-2/184/1/101/2. The last five scores in the Bash read: 74-2/134-1/185-1/146-2/148-2. It's difficult to know how much store to put in this data as the 'G track has had plenty of work done to make it more lively. In all T20 cricket, the average run rate is 7.4. So a total of more than 150 would be good. It may be worth considering laying Lanka for more than 160 if they make reasonable start.

Trade only option

Australia are [1.13] and Sri Lanka [8.0]. Look, we don't think any top-table team should be as big as Sri Lanka are here. And we would argue analysts, ratings systems experts and value seekers would agree.

But you have to know what you're getting into if you take than big number, even for a trade which would be the smartest call. The upside is good if Sri Lanka could just get a foothold in the game. But the chances of that, given what has happened so far, are hard to quantify. You could take the trade and never have a chance to get out, let alone in. If you get me.

However, if Sri Lanka do exert some of their undoubted talent, they could very easily trade much lower. The profit potentials for a back-to-lay win from [8.0] are tempting. Read more advice on trading here.

Spin duo appeal

Warner is 15/8 jolly with Sportsbook for top Aussie bat. Fair enough. But we can't agree with Short being parachuted in to 12/5 second favourite. We still expect Aaron Finch to play - and open - so the 5/2 could appeal. McDermott, who will bat at either No 3 or 4 depending on what sort of finish the Aussies need is 11/2. Smith is, as usual, stinking the place out at 4s. Warner is 4/5 with Sportsbook to bust 27.5 runs. Finch is 5/6 for 25.5 or more. Warner is 5/2 to be the top batsman in the match.

The batters could struggle for rhythm, not just because of a sticky pitch. The outfield is vast and fours are often in short supply in Bash matches. From 37 matches, if you'd gone under 26.5 fours offered by Sportsbook you'd have lost only 11 times.

Ed Hawkins P-L

2019: +38.13pts
2018: +23.53pts
2017: +12pts
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. Includes Hawk-Eye stats column p-l

Ed Hawkins,

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