Pakistan v West Indies
Friday 10 June 12.30
TV: Live on Sky Sports
Pakistan prioritise batting
Pakistan have a one-nil lead after an exciting success in game one on Wednesday. They chased West Indies' 305, requiring a late cameo from Kushdil Shah to get home.
It was good to see Khushdil reinforcing his hitting ability after a strong PSL with the ball. His four sixes in a 23-ball 41 made the difference following a Pakistan wobble.
Babar Azam, with his fourth ton in five, and Imam-ul-Haq (65) had earlier been in cruise control. When Babar was out the Windies pegged Pakistan back.
Yet what is notable about this Pakistan line-up is the batting depth. With Hasan Ali at No 9 they have runs all the way down. That could prove costly with only five specialist bowlers. It may be that Khushdil will have to perform with the ball also.
Probable XI: Fakhar, Imam, Babar, Rizwan, Khushdil, Shadabad, Haris, Nawaz, Ha-san, Afridi, Rauf
West Indies produced a strong batting effort but will have been disappointed not to have posted something closer to 320 given the power they had in the shed.
Shai Hope, the most reliable ODI batter on those top-bat markets, did the business again. His century allied with Shamarh Brooks 70 gave thgem a perfect platform.
Unfortunately, despite good hitting from Rovman Powell and Romario Shepherd towards the death they couldn't quite propel them to something daunting.
Keemo Paul has been added to the squad. It could be that, by the time the series is out, Powell and Shepherd move up a spot with Brandon King making way. We're not convinced he's a No 5.
Probable XI: Hope, Mayers, brooks, Pooran, King, Powell, Shepherd, Hosein, Joseph, Walsh, Seales
The Multan pitch looked pretty good for the batsmen, although Pakistan might argue that the ball didn't come on quite as well under lights which contributed to their wobble.
Busting 300 would appear to be the minimum and with the extreme such an important factor, going over the runs par line for whoever bats first in the early 290s could pay off.
We might have to pay a bit higher if it's Pakistan but that doesn't put us off. West In-dies longevity in the series is a bit of a worry given the conditions and having had so little acclimatisation time.
It's also worth considering chunky number on Pakistan for 340 and 350 or more. Bet the market here.
Windies need to bat first
Pakistan are 1.402/5 with West Indies 3.4012/5. It's a big old gap between two teams who had a ding-dong affair in game one.
Still, that's ok. Having watched the prices a trade strategy is clear. But it requires two things; one West Indies batting first. And two, them batting well. When the visitors were poised for a big total, they hit 2.305/4 in-play.
Unfortunately if Pakistan bat first we don't see much room for manoeuvre. Their starting price would suggest that if they were to bat first they would be on for 320. Bet the match odds here
Hope springs eternal and Shai won again on the top bat market. That's two in the last four for him including the Netherlands series. Sportsbook are taking a risk by boosting him to 7/2. Shepherd is also eye-catching at 16/1.
For Pakistan we have two options. A boosted Imam at 11/4 or Mohammad Rizwan at an inflated 13/2. The latter looks very big for a class act as high as No 4. He looked in decent touch with a nice little knock in game one. We could split stakes between the pair. Babar is 16/5
The Pakistan skip is also 6/1 for man of the match. Despite what Cricinfo report it was Babar who won the gong in game one, not Khushdil. Babar decided to give it to his team-mate as a gesture.
It is grossly irresponsible of Cricinfo to start changing the outcome of results on the whim of one of the players. For the record, Khushdil is 18/1. With bat set to dominate, it is worth noting Imam at 9/1 and Rizwan at 15/2. Bet the Sportsbook markets here. Bet the Sportsbook odds here