Pakistan v England ODI Betting: Thrill of the chase

Wahab leads the Pakistan attack
Wahab leads the Pakistan attack

Ed Hawkins previews the first game of four on Wednesday and advises to wait until the toss before wagering in Abu Dhabi...

"A toss bias will have a big say as both teams find their feet. Only three sides have won chasing here in the last ten"

Recommended Bet
Back side batting first

Pakistan v England
Start Time: Wednesday, 11:00
TV: live on Sky Sports

UPDATE: England won the toss and will bat.


There have been ins and outs - some historic - which make for interesting reading for those who are unable to keep up with the whims of the Pakistani selectors.

For a start there is no Saeed Ajmal or Shahid Afridi. That is noteworthy because they are Nos 3 and 4 respectively on their top wicket-taker lists. Misbah-ul-Haq is not involved with the side captained by Azhar Ali.

Azhar will open with Ahmed Shehzad as part of a robust front five which also includes Mohammad Hafeez, Younis Khan and Shoaib Malik.

With the ball, Yasir Shah remains a threat. Fast bowling will be the responsibility of Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Irfan, who at 6ft 7in, represents a fresh challenge for the English batsmen.


England are set to return to Jos Buttler for the start of the series at least after he was given batting time in the warm-up against Hong Kong. Jonny Bairstow, his rival, was not. Buttler hit 38 from 37 balls.

Steven Finn, England's best bowler in this format, is out of the tour while Ben Stokes has joined him back at home following his shoulder injury. Chris Jordan should take Finn's spot and England will hope he finds reverse swing. Chris Woakes comes in for Stokes.

England will probably bat Moeen Ali at No 7, Woakes at eight followed by Adil Rashid, David Willey and Jordan. It means they bat all the way down. That is a real strength.

Series odds

Pakistan are a tough nut to crack at home in Tests. They are not in ODI. They have won one from their last six series and three from their last 11. Read more here why we believe they are worth laying at 2.1211/10. England are 4.57/2 and the draw is 3.185/40.

First-innings runs

Following the easy nature of the Test pitch one could be forgiven for reckoning that the Sheikh Zayed Stadium ODI surface would be similarly easy on the eye of batsmen. Not so. There has been only one score of more than 275 in the last ten. And 300 has been breached only twice. The last ten first-innings scores read: 213-275-299-231-232-225-266-259-248-250. That is an average of 250.

Match odds

Pakistan are 1.834/5 and England 2.186/5. Those odds seem fair at first glance and, indeed, it would be a comfortable wager to side with the hosts in game one at such a price. But we're not going to pre-toss

That is because a toss bias will have a big say as both teams find their feet. Only three sides have won chasing here in the last ten, which means that if England were to bat first and post more than 260, then they should win.

Are they a 2.186/5 chance to do that? No, of course not. Are Pakistan a 1.834/5 chance to do that? No, of course not. So we have to wait for the flip.

It may be a little dull that we have to be so prescriptive - and this has been the case for a while now - but with so many matches in Asia at the moment punters are getting a real lesson in the value of the toss.

However, it should be noted that this advice is given only because we believe the sides to be well matched. There is a chance England have more about them - thanks to that batting depth - but we need further proof.

Top Pakistan runscorer

Younis hit a century for Pakistan on his last but one visit against New Zealand and with 564 runs in 18 matches he is the highest runscorer available on this ground. He is 5.04/1. Hafeez, who is 4.57/2 is next best. Azhar averages 90 from two innings and gets a 4.3100/30 quote.

Top England runscorer

Eoin Morgan hit a useful 25-run cameo when England last played at the venue - they won by 20 runs after posting 250 by the way. He is 4.57/2. Openers Jason Roy and Alex Hales are 5.59/2 and 4.57/2 respectively. But this does not appear to be a pitch where batters can hit freely through the line of the ball. Morgan or Joe Root, who is 4.03/1 are the best options.

Recommended Bet

Back side batting first

Ed Hawkins P/L

2015: +£367.80
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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