Cricket Betting: Prior masters deliveries without sex and curry
Matt Prior looked like he was going to miss the Fifth test - a move which could have seen him lose his England place to Tim Ambrose - but instead the wicketkeeper hit a century which should cement his inclusion in the side for some time yet, says Frank Gregan.
If Matt Prior's first son had have been born on schedule his batting average would probably be a century light. He was due to miss this test to be at his child's birth but the lad had not read the script and popped out whilst Prior was preparing for the fourth test.
Prior has said that he consulted the people who are important to him before making his decision to leave the tour and return home. Those canvassed are said to have included his team mates who were all supportive of him taking a wee sabbatical. You can guarantee one who was very supportive, probably booked his flight and carried his bags to the airport - Tim Ambrose who was given the gloves and a chance to establish himself again.
In sport you have to seize the moment and Ambrose will have known that he had to perform well in order to take full advantage of Prior's family loyalty. Seventy-six not out in the first innings and a respectable performance behind the stumps during the Windies batting marathon must have satisfied the Australian born wicketkeeper but the selectors thought otherwise. Prior was recalled and his knock in England's first innings this time around will go a long way to ensuring that Ambrose is left kicking his heels for a lengthy period.
Prior got lucky, there could have been no guarantee that he would re-claim his spot in the side and with the current wicket producing plenty of surprises, Ambrose could have cemented his place and consigned Prior to the role of warm up partner and drinks carrier had he kept his place. That must have been weighing on Prior's mind when he made the decision to fly home and he must have been rueing his lack of planning.
It seems incredible that in this day and age we can't organise the birth of children more effectively! There have been lots of windows of opportunity for the child to have been born during this tour without Prior having to miss a proper delivery, the type produced by a bowler not the wife!
There are induction drugs available, all that was needed was for him and his wife to sit down with their diaries and find a date that was mutually convenient. Don't worry if the date is missed, it's great when that happens as women are advised on the best way to speed the process up. Sex and curry! There is no way that can be an old wives tale; it had to have been invented by a bloke! How about throwing in a trip to the races, a live footie game and a night in the casino - that should get the old waters broken!
So Prior is back and has scored a brilliant 131 not out but it looks likely to be to no avail. England had to win this test and going into day four they are an unlikely [10.5] to do so. Their current run of form is solidifying my bet of the year - Australia to win the Ashes. The Aussies are now [1.79] having been backed as big as [2.3] but it is still a price that should be added to the portfolio.
England are getting more and more mediocre whilst the Aussies get stronger and stronger. England's best chance may well be to hope and pray that a lot of Australian cricketing wives are due to give birth in July and August!