England v Ireland
Tuesday 4 August, 14:00
Live on Sky Sports
After twice chasing against Ireland at the Ageas Bowl, England will hope to have the opportunity to bat first. Punters will be of the same mind.
The default position when one of the big boys - and world champions no less - come up against an Associate is to wonder what sort of beating the latter are going to take in the field. And how can we wager on it.
Although there has been frustration that England have not given bettors the chance to play innings runs markets, there have been signs that they should be gung-ho if they do get first go. As discussed in our full match preview, their run rates have been strong.
Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy, England's openers, are all the rage for runs. The wicket could be flat and they will have a potential 50 overs to wreak havoc. But before you smash into their respective top-bat prices, be aware that we have consistently said they are the wrong price. Even with Bairstow's win in game two, Sportsbook's 11/5 and 7/2 respectively don't fit the bill. Look at those win rates below.
It is worth pondering, however, with Ireland's batting poor and ponderous, whether Bairstow or Roy are value on the market to be top match batsman. Bairstow is 13/5 and Roy 4/1. On two-year form the answer is a big fat no, sadly. Bairstow has four wins in 25 (16%) and Roy one in 21 (with one tie).
Although we couldn't recommend either man on either market, we do recognise that some may ignore the stats and reckon the pair could make a killing against a weak Irish attack. But if you are going to go ahead, we'd suggest the top match runscorer purely because you'll get more bang for your buck.
Bairstow is even money for a fifty. That seems mean but there is rationale to the odds. In five matches against Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ireland and Scotland opening, Bairstow would have been a winner in four of those on such a bet. In the last two years (opening only) against all comers he has eight wins in 25.
Sportsbook clearly expect Paul Stirling to do better on a change of track. This will be a different strip that the same one used for the first two matches. We hope so. The 7/2 has taken a cut from 4/1 but it is still out of line with his win rate, Sportsbook's 22.2% playing out database's 38%. There is also a one per cent edge on Andrew Balbirnie at 7/2.
For top bowler markets Adil Rashid is the 10/3 jolly for England but that price has more to do with how often you get money back. With win rate and shared honours combined, he's bringing back pounds 28% of the time. A 10/3 chance is 23% implied probability.
Top England bat wins/matches
Bairstow 11 1t/53
Top England bowler wins/matches
Rashid 7 10t/59
Willey 2 2t/22
T Curran 3 1t/20
Ali 3 5t/51
Top Ireland bat wins/matches
K O'Brien 2/21
Top Ireland bowler wins/matches
Rankin 1 3t/18
B McCarthy 1/8
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