England v Pakistan
Monday 18 July, 14:30
TV: live on Sky Sports
Batters to dominate
For the first match in Trent Bridge we advised a wager at 5/1 for Babar Azam to be top match runscorer. Babar made a brilliant 85 and then Pakistan knocked over five batsmen for 32 or fewer. Job done?
You'd think wouldn't you. Babar would have been miniscule odds at that stage to cop. And yet he didn't because Liam Livingstone produced something extraordinary to down our bet. You will have that Babar bet and match situation 20 times and have no concerns at all.
That is why we're swerving the Pakistan batter this time, especially as he has been cut to 7/2. There's nowt wrong with retaining faith, however, with Dawid Malan at 5/1. His promotion to the opening berth is a major boost for his chances.
Malan was also surprisingly big for top England bat at 3/1. Given that he was the man in possession of the opening berth (keeping out Jos Buttler), regardless of the fact he managed only one in the first match, meant it was an unnecessary risk. It provides a significant edge on win rate. Buttler's return, though, clips our wings.
With the Headingley pitch expected to be a delight for batters, we're inclined to reckon the man of the match market and top match bat market are the same. Malan is 10/1.
Jonny Bairstow is the 7/1 favourite and we get that. Bairstow has looked primed for some time for something special. On his home ground where, obviously, he has a clutch of good scores he should go well. He is a danger to the Malan fans. Bairstow is 13/2 for top match bat.
We're irked that Mohammad Hafeez has been cut from 11/2 to 9/2 for top Pakistan bat. It's bizarre because he is now batting at No 5 when before game one he was expected to bat at No 4. Sohaib Maqsood should be 9/2. In fact he should be shorter. The 11/2 is a big rick about a man who has slotted in at No 3.
Top England bat last two years wins/matches
Top Pakistan batsman last two years wins/matches
Top England bowler wins/matches last two years
Jordan 5 3t/27
Rashid 3 5t/26
T Curran 1 3t/21
S Curran 1 4t/16
Wood 1 2t/14
Stokes 1 2t/11
There have been only five centuries scored in T20 matches at Headingley. One of them was from David Willey, who should retina his place in England's XI.
It's not the number we were looking for to advise a wager at 15/2 for a century in the first-innings. But bear in mind that is the sort of generic price for T20. Sportsbook might have been justified in skinning it because, as discussed in the match preview, this could be an absolute road. If you take it, there should be no fretting that you've had a mug bet.
The fours and sixes head-to-heads are of interest, not least because England hit more maximums than Pakistan and yet still lost the game. There was a marked difference in the numbers of fours, Pakistan racking up 20 and England just 11.
Averages fours/sixes per game last three years
As you can see from the data, Pakistan busted their average by a distance. There are two possible reasons for this. Firstly the Trent Bridge surface was like glass. Secondly, Pakistan showed markedly more aggression. That is probably the most important factor.
Sportsbook make England favourites at ½ and 4/6 to hit most sixes and fours respectively. Pakistan are 21/10 and 13/10. The latter is a decent wager with the gulf not as big as suggested.
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