Twenty20 Betting: England can land series win in Abu Dhabi

Pakistan v England RSS / / 27 February 2012 / Leave a Comment

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Pietersen and Kieswetter are leading top runscorer fancies

Pietersen and Kieswetter are leading top runscorer fancies

"There have been only five Twenty20 internationals played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium and no side has passed more than 141 batting first"

Ed Hawkins previews the decider in the T20 series in Abu Dhabi today, and expects England's bowlers to hold sway

Start: 16.00
Live on Sky Sports 1

Another brittle batting display from Pakistan in the second Twenty20 international confirmed that they cannot cope with England's bowling. Even in victory in the first match they were only one more wicket away from ignominy.

In Dubai last time out the game was effectively over by the eighth ball when Asad Shafiq became the second wicket to fall with only two runs on the board. They desperately need a solid foundation at the top of the order and the pressure on openers Mohammad Hafeez and Awais Zia is clear, particularly the latter who has now retreated into his shell following an impudent start.

Zia could be replaced by Imran Farhat while there is talk of a promotion up the order for Hammad Azam with the disappointing Shoaib Malik dropping down.

Great relief for England following the performance of Jonny Bairstow, who returned to form in the international game. He has been quiet for some time but his 60 from 46 balls will do wonders for his confidence.
Like naughty schoolboys who chatter too much when sat together in class, England were right to split Bairstow and Jos Buttler with Samit Patel coming in between them. Now all they need is for Buttler to get a score. He failed for the third time on tour and needs runs.

Venue and conditions
We can expect another wicket which is tricky to score quickly on. There have been only five Twenty20 internationals played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium and no side has passed more than 141 batting first. There is a toss bias with four from five having been won by the chasing outfit but we wouldn't read too much into that. We expect the ball to bend and dip under lights.

Match odds
At the start of the series this column advised a 2-1 England victory and we are confident that wager will cop, particularly if England get to bat first.

Indeed, posting 140 or 150 and then attempting to strangle England in a chase - as Pakistan did in game one - is Pakistan's only hope and certainly they should be avoided like the plague if they are chasing a target. Whatever they do, expect them to be two down pretty quickly. That opinion can form the cornerstone of a trading strategy.

Pakistan are [2.2] and that is a fair drift from prices on the cusp of [2.00] at the start of the series. England have shortened to [1.81]. As ever, wait until the toss before taking the plunge.

Top Pakistan batsman
Misbah-ul-Haq, who suffered defeat for the first time as Pakistan skipper in this format on Saturday, has played three times at the Sheikh Zayed in Twenty20, scored 108 runs and never been out. He is [6.4]. It is unlikely there will be many takers, however, following his go-slow in Dubai. Umar Akmal, Pakistan's best batsman, makes appeal at [6.40], p[particularly with Pakistan's openers so unreliable.

Top England batsman
Bairstow went to the top of the series runscoring charts with that unbeaten 60 but we would not expect him to go well again. We need more evidence of consistency before we spend money on him. He is [8.1]. Kevin Pietersen is the man to beat but is plenty short enough at [3.75]. His opening partner, Craig Kieswetter, could therefore be overpriced at [5.10].

Recommended bet
Lay side batting first for 160 or more at around [2.80]

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