Pakistan v England Second T20 Betting: Hosts still in with a shout

Morgan is eyeing a 2-0 lead
Morgan is eyeing a 2-0 lead

Ed Hawkins previews game two from Dubai on Friday afternoon and expects Pakistan to be able to put the tourists under pressure at some point...

"Pakistan are a decent option if they bat first. It would appear they might need scoreboard pressure to assist them"

Recommended Bet
Back-to-lay Pakistan 2.166/5 to 1.75/7

Pakistan v England
Start time: 16.00
TV: live on Sky Sports 2

It had all started so well for Pakistan. They reduced a revamped England team to 19 for three - with arguably two of the most dangerous players, Jason Roy and Alex Hales, back in the hutch - but then they lost their way.

Did they get sloppy with the ball? Well, they had hardly been all guns blazing despite their fast start. Sohail Tanvir had been wayward before claiming the wicket of Roy in his first over.

There was no doubt they were below par with the bat. A chase of 161 is hardly beyond a side in T20 but it wasn't long before it was out of the home team's reach. Recovery from eight for one, 20 for two and 25 for three was never going to be easy.

They could make changes but second guessing a Pakistan selector is a hazardous occupation. Ahmed Shehzad is still yet to play. His continued absence suggests that he might not even be available after all.

There was criticism of England before a ball had been bowled for the way they chopped and changed. Michael Vaughan tweeted in exasperation that England were experimenting with only a handful of games before a World Cup.

He is right, of course. But the result, and the performance of Sam Billings in particular, meant most forgot all about the shuffling.

Billings batted brilliantly to hit 53 off 25 balls in place of Jos Buttler. It was such a destructive innings that England must now find time for him full-time.

If Buttler returns today then Moeen Ali looks the most likely to make way. But Joe Root may well still be rested given that James Vince also shone. His 41 from 36 was a classic counter-attack and was the real reason England turned it around.

With three wickets apiece Reece Topley and Liam Plunkett will surely retain their spots. David Willey might get the nod ahead of Chris Jordan.

First-innings runs
The last 11 first-innings scores at Dubai read: 160-144-135-96-211-145-150-98-168-151-89. That is an average of 141. Eoin Morgan, the England skipper, said this was the best surface in the ODIs and although it played well, the numbers above make it hard to bet with confidence.

Match odds
England are 1.855/6 with Pakistan 2.166/5. So pretty much no change in the odds from the first T20.

One has to wonder if Pakistan cannot win from such a position of - albeit early - strength against an inexperienced team, where can they win from?

Still, a back-to-lay paid off in game one. That tactic could work again and may well be the most sensible option.

For those who want to have a bet and let it run, Pakistan are a decent option if they bat first. It would appear they might need scoreboard pressure to assist them.

Top Pakistan runscorer
The debutant Rafatullah Mohmand opened the batting in game one. He averages 26 in T20 with a strike rate of 136. But whether he is in form is doubtful - he has two fifties in his last ten innings in all formats. He is 5.04/1. Sarfraz Ahmed, his opening partner, is 4.57/2 and that looks a little toppy.

Top England runscorer
Roy and Hales are 4.216/5 the pair and it would be a surprise if both went cheaply again. Morgan is the same price, Vince is 4.77/2 and Billings is 6.25/1. Root and Buttler, not certain starters, are 4.03/1 and 6.05/1 respectively.

Recommended Bet
Back-to-lay Pakistan 2.166/5 to 1.75/7

Ed Hawkins P/L

2015: +£352.30
2014: +315.10
2013: +250.80
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.
Follow Ed on Twitter @cricketbetting

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