Ed Hawkins previews the final ODI from Cardiff on Sunday and searches for value in a series which has had a blunt competitive edge
"Unsurprisingly England are no better than 1.3130/100. Pakistan are 4.1. We stopped bothering with trades on the tourists long ago."
Back England at 1.654/6 in-running
England v Pakistan
Sunday September 4, 10:30
TV: Live on Sky Sports
England chose to rest Mark Wood and Chris Woakes for the fourth ODI for David Willey and Chris Jordan. And they could shuffle their pack again.
Jake Ball and Liam Dawson have yet to feature so presumably this time Liam Plunkett and Adil Rashid may step away. It would be harsh on Willey and Jordan to be given only one game, particularly as England are keen for a young bowling unit to gain as much experience as possible.
Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali starred with the bat at Headingley, providing proof that England have class in the middle-lower order as well as the upper.
There have to be doubts about Mohammad Irfan's availability for this contest. The giant pacer, who was called up as a replacement for Mohammad Hafeez, struggled with cramp despite having bowled only five overs.
Micky Arthur, the Pakistan coach, was furious with Irfan's fitness and could be seen on the dressing room balcony effing and jeffing. After the game he criticised Irfan for being poorly prepared.
Both Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir sat out the game at Leeds so one could come back in. Otherwise Pakistan could shuffle their batting order to improve their chances.
Only Azhar Ali, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Imad Wasim have proved capable of scoring in this series so why not clump them together at Nos 3, 4 and 5? It gives them the best chance to build a total.
The average first-innings score at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff is 253. More than 250 has been breached only five times in 16 first-innings. England posted 324 against Sri Lanka earlier this summer. On Sportsbook they are 1.834/5 to score more than 268.5 - a bet which is toss dependant. Do you trust Pakistan to make that many?
Any hope for Pakistan? Earlier in the summer when England had the series won before the final match against Lanka in Cardiff, we mused they might be vulnerable.
That was because we clung to the notion they might be a little jaded and their intensity would drop in a dead rubber. There was also a toss bias (which is now eight of the last 13 won by the team fielding first).
England won comfortably. And we discuss their record - and Pakistan's form - in dead rubbers here. In short, it's a bit of a myth that performances change.
Unsurprisingly England are no better than 1.3130/100. Pakistan are 4.1. We stopped bothering with trades on the tourists long ago.
Keep your fingers crossed that they manage to stay competitive for a spell, though. England got as big as 1.768/11 at Leeds. If they come again fill your boots, even as low as 1.654/6 if the toss bias assists.
Top England runscorer
Bairstow and Buttler have the best averages of the England batsmen on show - marks of 63 and 50 respectively. Buttler has played three more games, however, and his return of 151 is impressive. Bairstow is 6.05/1 and Buttler 5.04/1.
Buttler made 70 against the Lankans at the ground in July but Joe Root top scored with 90. Root is sub 4.03/1, as are Alex Hales and Jason Roy.
Top Pakistan runscorer
As we said earlier only Azhar, Sarfaraz and Imad are worth an interest. They are 3.55/2, 5.04/1 and 7.06/1 respectively. We're interested in protecting our Sarfaraz top Pakistan series bat bet at 13.012/1. So with him leading by just 25 from Azhar, we are looking for a saver.
Azhar's form may have picked up and Sarfaraz's has dipped. The 1.84/5 that Azhar gets a 50 is a decent option. He will be around 1.51/2 to score 25. Take the latter only if you're on the Sarfaraz series outright.
Back England at 1.654/6 in-running
Back Azhar for 25 runs or more at 1.51/2 if on Sarfaraz outright
Ed Hawkins P-L
To £10 level stakes (unless otherwise stated), based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate.
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