Hawkeye on England v Sri Lanka First ODI: Opening pair could blitz

Jason Roy
Roy is out injured

Ed Hawkins changes strategy for top-bat wagers as a mismatch looms at the Riverside on Tuesday.

"Wanindu has been a superb hitter lower down the order while Dhananjaya could well be asked to open"

(0.5pts) Back Wanindu Hasaranga top SL bat 7.5013/2

England v Sri Lanka
Tuesday 29 June 11.30
TV: Live on Sky Sports

Bairstow and Malan to fire

There is no value on the top England batsman market. Twas ever thus when Ben Stokes was absent. But that doesn't mean we won't be wagering on an England player to go bigger than anyone else.

We often search for a one-point edge here, or two-point edge there on top England bat. We take the win rate from the data below and compare that percentage with Sportsbook's implied probability.

Jonny Bairstow, for example, is a 23% chance on our data. Sportsbook go 11/5 - a 31% chance. No joy.

The plan, then, is to recognise the strengths of the two batting line-ups and make that pay. Sri Lanka's batting line-up is in total disarray due to injuries and suspensions. England are vastly more capable of runs. So the top match batsman market is wide open. We have to adjust our strategy when there is such a mismatch.

Bairstow is 7/2. Given that he should open and have most opportunity to bat, it's not a disastrous choice. Bairstow, in particular, has a fine record on this ground. Dawid Malna, expected to open with Bairstow now Jason Roy has been ruled out is 7/1. Joe Root is also 7/1. Liam Livingstone, who could well bat in the top four, is 14s.

It is also worth noting the relationship between the top runscorer for the winning team. Could it be that Bairstow to be top England bat and man of the match is the same wager? Possibly. Bairstow is 7/1 and Malan 10s. You could split stakes on the pair.

England top bat wins/matches
Bairstow 14 1t/60
Morgan 9/64
Root 9 1t/63
Roy 9/55
Stokes 9/44
Ali 1/57
Buttler 6 1t/60
Woakes 1/40
Billings 2/11
S Curran 1/8

England top bowler wins/matches
Rashid 7 11t/65
Root 5t/63
Woakes 6 9t/42
Wood 3 6t/41
Ali 3 5t/55
T Curran 3 2t/22
Stokes 2 5t/44
S Curran 0 t/8

Bairstow and Roy to fire

As discussed in our match preview, we are dubious about Sri Lanka's ability to score big runs. Their performances in the T20 series was woeful. To make matters worse, however, they have lost Avishka Fernando to injury.

Avishka was being lined up for a wager on this ground. He smashed a century against West Indies at this venue in the 2019 World Cup and as you can see from his hit rate below on the top-bat market, he is a fancy.
Instead we look elsewhere. Kusal Perera, the skipper, has very little to beat particularly with Kusal Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella and Danushka Gunathilaka suspended. And, to be fair, the win rates are largely insignificant because there is no Angelo Mathews, either. Gunathilaka, who notched three wins in eight, could have been a bet. Sportsbook are taking a risk by boosting Perera to 10/3.

Wanindu Hasaranga and Dhananjaya de Silva fit the bill in terms of ability. Wanindu has been a superb hitter lower down the order while Dhananjaya could well be asked to open considering the talent drain. Wanindu is 13/2 and Dhananjaya 5/1.

Sri Lanka top bat wins/matches
Mendis 2/12
K Perera 2 t/12
Avishka 3 t/11
Mathews 2/10
G Jayasuriya 1/3
Gunathilaka 3/8
Wanindu 2/12

Sri Lanka top bowler wins/matches
Chameera 3/5
Malinga 2 2t/4
Pradeep 1 3t/9
Udana 1 2/t10
Akila t/2
Shanaka 1/6
Wanindu 1 t/12
Sandakan t/9
Dhananjaya 1/11
Mathews 1/10

We're not in the business of advising 1/2 shots but Sportsbook may not have gone short enough about England in the sixes match bet market.

England average 6.1 sixes per game over the last two years and Sri Lanka 3.3. Interestingly, Wanindu is responsible for 41% of Sri Lanka's sixes during that study period. He has whacked 16 of them.

That reinforces the idea that he may be worth a wager on Sri Lanka's top bat market. The absent Avishka and Kusal Mendis have hit ten between them.

Ed Hawkins P-L

2021: +32.95
2020: +5.91
2019: +37.25pts
2018: +23.53pts
2017: +12pts
2016: +18.1pts
2015: +38pts
2014: +31.5pts
2013: +25pts
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. Includes Hawk-Eye stats column p-l

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