Upcoming cricket to look forward toJames Nixon |
Football’s main event may currently be dominating sporting headlines, but it will be the turn of cricket this time next year as the Cricket World Cup comes to England and Wales, with 11 grounds playing host to games. Cricket’s multi-faceted qualities allow it to be played in many different formats and different time limitations, thus making it appeal to a broader audience.
Forthcoming action at the top level of the game represents its diversity. Ireland and Scotland are set to compete in the T20 format – a shortened version of the game; whereas England currently lead Australia in their ODI five-match series is in Cardiff on Saturday. If that isn’t enough variety, the underrated Afghanistan lost 20 wickets in a day in their test debut defeat to India – cricket’s renowned traditional formation. The sport continues to evolve and this array of cricket matches has given new bookmakers a vast selection of fixtures to post their tips and analysis – here are our predictions for the coming days.
Ireland V Scotland (T20)
Scotland have lost their last three T20 internationals on the bounce and go into this encounter as underdogs. However, they will be facing an Irish team low on confidence after they suffered back-to-back defeats against hosts Netherlands. Wednesday’s four-wicket loss to Ryan Campbell’s side was the sixth consecutive defeat for Ireland in the 20-overs format.
Expect Scotland’s talismanic Captain Kyle Coveter to lead by example at the top of the order and keep Irish dreams of a win at bay for a little longer. Back the Scots at odds of 2.33 with bet-at-home.
England vs. Australia (ODI)
The second battle in the 50-overs format between these two great rivals takes place in Cardiff with England intent on maintaining the 100% record against Australia at Sophia Gardens in this discipline. England spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid exposed the frailties of the Australian batsmen in the opening encounter of the series, taking five wickets between them. Australia’s top-order batting relies mainly on Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh, but they will take heart from their bowling performance which saw England scrape over the line, having been reduced to 197-7 at one stage.
Despite England’s mini-collapses during the run-chase, it will be up to the tourists to conjure up a more substantial batting display. Another victory for England here would give them a 2-0 lead and go some way to dispelling their shock defeat at the hands of Scotland in Edinburgh last Sunday. Back the hosts at 4/9 with BetBright.
West Indies vs. Sri Lanka (2nd Test)
The West Indies crushed the Lions by 226 runs in the opening test at Port of Spain to go 1-0 up in the three-match series. At this time of writing, the second test is in its opening stages with the home side bowling out Sri Lanka for 253 – Captain Dinesh Chandimal hit a superb undefeated 119, but ultimately ran out of partners. If the West Indies replicate their impressive batting from the first match, they look a strong bet to seal the series at St Lucia. Left-hander Kieran Powell can be backed at 5/6 with Betfair to score over 24.5 runs after his imperious second innings knock of 88.