Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sammy tips Narine to trouble England

West Indies captain Darren Sammy has praised Sunil Marine for his increasing maturity and believes he will play a major part in the Super Eights.

Once dubbed ‘a mystery spinner’, Narine was in fine form during his side’s rain interrupted clash with Ireland earlier this week and will certainly have England firmly in his sights, with punters who bet on cricket already tipping him to be top wicket-taker.

Stuart Broad’s men seem to have a chronic inability to play spin, something grimly displayed in their defeat to India last weekend.

Six wickets fell for 21 runs at the hands of slow bowling as England were bowled out for just 80 runs.

They had already qualified for the Super Eights so the game was effectively meaningless, but it remains to be seen whether the scars from that defeat will affect their display against Sammy’s men on Thursday, with line betting markets struggling to separate them.

The Windies skipper is delighted with the way Narine is progressing and believes he has a huge role to play in the remainder o the competition.

"He's a guy who has got a lot of tricks up his sleeve and always thinks he can learn new stuff," captain Darren Sammy said of Narine after the Ireland match.

"When you see him practice he's always trying new things. New run-ups, new actions, he just looks to improve his game all the time."

"Narine loves when the batsmen are looking to attack him," Sammy said. "With the scoreboard pressure, and the requirement to score quickly in Twenty20, it gives him the edge with all his tricks up his sleeves. The more we progress and the more we play on these wickets, the more assistance it will give him. These are good signs for us going into the Super Eights."

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bowlers in fine fettle

Danny Briggs, Jade Dernbach and Stuart Broad inspired England to a cracking victory for their second Twenty20 warm-up game in Sri Lanka as the batsmen failed against Pakistan’s spin.

Despite much hope for the batsmen in England betting markets, they suffered an ominous collapse to the spin of Sajeed Ajmal (4-14) in Colombo.

Alex Hales, Jos Buttler, Craig Kieswetter, Eoin Morgan and Jonny Bairstow all failed to make more than 20 runs, with only Luke Wright (38) managing to make any impact on Pakistan’s attack.

It is a worry for Stuart Broad and Andy Flower that the sides’ batsmen failed so miserably, especially against the spinners on the subcontinent.

Buttler looked promising in England this summer, while Hales has bags of talent. But if they fail then it is back to square one and hoping that the old guard can haul the team out of a hole.

Meanwhile, Briggs – a slow left -armer – who has one T20 international cap to his name, picked up three big wickets including the opening batsmen. Pakistan were set just 112 to win and failed to reach that target by 15 runs – a large margin in T20 cricket for such a low total.

Dernbach (3-14) – who is becoming a real one-day specialist - and skipper Broad (2-12) made mince meat of the middle order with their change of pace to seal a second warm-up victory, following the 9-run victory over Australia. That time around the batsmen shone and the bowlers toiled.

England are unfancied in T20 cricket betting markets to retain their T20 crown and they will be hoping before Friday’s opening game with Afghanistan is that the batsmen and bowlers can both find their rhythm at the same time.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hales the man for England

Since he has come into the England fold, Alex Hales has been brilliant at the top of the order and will be the key to success at the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka this month.

Stuart Broad’s men start their campaign on Friday with what should be a formality of a fixture against Afghanistan. However, you always need to get off to a good start and the 23-year-old Nottinghamshire
batsman looks like an effective opener at the top of England’s order.

With Somerset’s Craig Kieswetter struggling for the kind of form that helped win the Three Lions the cup two years ago in the Caribbean, the onus will fall on other players such as Hales and Jos Buttler to take command of an England team very much in transition and considered outsiders for the tournament in T20 cricket betting markets.

Hales scored an impressive 52 in England’s most recent warm-up victory over Australia, which takes his international T20 average to 39.20 after just seven games with an impressive strike rate of 122.50. It is that kind of impetus at the top of the order which England will need if they are to defend their trophy in the shortest format of the game.

With Buttler showing his brilliance lower down the order in England’s victory over South Africa at Birmingham – scoring a crafty 32 of just 10 balls – it could be the youth and freshness of Hales and Buttler which allows the old guard to defend their trophy. Indeed the pair are among the favourites in the England betting to finish as the team’s top run scorer.

Buttler’s shot selection and willingness to play the extraordinary will stand him in good stead on the subcontinent’s turning wickets. Backed up by Hales at the top of the order, with Eoin Morgan, Jonny Bairstow and Luke Wright top T20 batsmen, England have the batting to win the World T20.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Hurry hails Rehman contribution

Somerset coach Andy Hurry has paid tribute to Abdur Rehman after the Pakistan spinner took a remarkable nine-wicket haul against Worcestershire at Taunton.

On the first day of the final match of the County Championship Division One season, Rehman finished with career-best figures of 9-65 as the relegated visitors could only muster 212 in their first innings.

The 32-year-old has been a revelation during his time in England, turning out some impressive live scores. He has appeared in three first-class matches for Somerset and three CB40 games, taking a total of 31 wickets.

"It doesn't come as much of a surprise to us. Abdur has been here a number of weeks now and has been performing extraordinarily well," Hurry told BBC Somerset.

"To mark the last day of the season with nine is an incredible individual achievement."

Rehman made his Test debut in 2007 but only really came to prominence earlier this year, when England visited the United Arab Emirates. The slow left-armer took 19 wickets as Pakistann defied the odds betting to win the three-match series 3-0.

Somerset signed Rehman as their overseas player on July 1 but had to wait to see him in action, with visa issues delaying his debut until August 7. He has certainly made up for lost time with some fine performances.
Hurry has hailed Rehman's impact on the Cider Boys, with the coach particularly impressed with the player's attitude.

"One of the most amazing contributions he's made is his character in the changing room," Hurry added.

"He's really gelled the team together and has been a great ambassador for Pakistan cricket."

Rehman will have another opportunity to enhance his reputation as one of the best spinners in world cricket when Pakistan visit South Africa in the New Year.

Aussies continue to baffle

With the Twenty20 World Cup inching ever closer, Australia continue their erratic form that suggests the Baggy Greens could either walk away champions in Sri Lanka or be left in the corner with their dunces hat on.

A superb 94-run victory over Pakistan in Dubai did its best to banish the memories of one of their worst Twenty20 defeats in the same series, in which George Bailey’s men lost by 7-wickets with 31 balls to spare (a huge margin in cricket’s shortest format).

But David Warner and Shane Watson were at their explosive best on Monday as they smeared Yasir Arafat, Umar Gul and company all round the park to put on 111 for the first wicket in 10.4 overs.

Then Mitchell Starc (3-11) and Pat Cummins (3-15) ripped the hosts batting line up to leave them miles short of the 169 required for victory. Pakistan limped to 74 all out.

However, as strong as Bailey’s men were in their final Twenty20 fixture, Pakistan skipper Mohammed Hafeez came away with a 2-1 series victory days before both sides head to Sri Lanka, with Australia not particularly fancied in the T20 World cup betting.

Australia are at their weakest they have been in almost two decades and rely heavily on Warner and Watson at the top of the order in the Twenty20s. If they fail then their middle-order is inexperienced, bar Michael Hussey, although the Western Australia batsman has been short of form of late, and that gives them very little to bowl at. The nature of Twenty20 allows for a quick slog from an opposition player to take the game away from a side if they post a low total.

Punters looking for Betfair cricket betting tips essentially the Aussies need Warner and Watson to be at their best or they will be leaving Sri Lanka with their tails between their legs.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hosts given duo boost ahead of T20

Ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup later this month, Sri Lanka have been given a real boost with the news batsman Kumar Sangakkara and pace bowler Nuwan Kulasekara are closing in on full fitness.

The hosts, according the T20 World cup betting, should be there or thereabouts come the business end of the tournament on home soil, did have concerns that the duo would be missing for the team’s opening game of the competition.

Sri Lanka get the World Cup underway on September 18 when they face Zimbabwe in their first game of Group C at Hambantota and there were doubts concerning Sangakkara and Kulasekara.

However the team’s skipper Mahela Jayawardene has revealed positive news regarding the pair, who are making positive progress in their bid to feature in the starting XI, with Sangakkara looking to recover from a broken finger whist Kulasekara is battling a groin strain.

He said: "Kumar is fine.

"He has been asking our coaches for extra net sessions and is coming along very nicely.

"Nuwan has been bowling at 80 to 90 percent during the last couple of weeks and next week we will let him push himself even further."

It’s going to be a tricky test against the Zimbabweans, who are vast outsiders according to pre-tournament Betfair Cricket Betting Tips, but will be looking to spoil the party on the opening day of the tournament.

Jayawardne has admitted the conditions in Hambantota won’t be the easiest but he is confident his side will make a positive start.

He said: "We have played at Hambantota before and the wind there presents some challenges.
"But it is the same for the other teams as well. With the experience we have we should see how we can use it to our advantage."

Monday, September 10, 2012

Warwickshire get fine reward for resolve

Warwickshire have successfully completed their mission of lifting the County Championship trophy they so heart-wrenchingly lost on the final day of the 2011 season, completing a wonderful 12 months for the Midlands club.

Warwickshire resumed their bowling attack at New Road against a poor Worcestershire side on Thursday and cantered to victory, winning the game just after lunch by an innings and 202 runs.

Their prize: the County Championship that alluded them at the end of last summer, a fine reward for a year of hard work for coach Ashley Giles and his squad.

Giles was rightly disappointed to miss out last year as already-relegated Hampshire defended seven wickets on the final day of the season to hand Lancashire top spot.

This disappointment only spurred the team on and it was fitting that captain Jim Troughton was there to lift the trophy.

“Even the next day [after the 2011 season] we were talking about what we had to do to improve,” Troughton explained to ESPN Cricinfo. “I remember we said: right, be proud of what you’ve achieved, but let this be the catalyst to win the title with a game in hand next year.”

And what a catalyst it was! A narrow two-wicket victory over Somerset back in April began the new season and Giles’ men were soon in their stride, picking up four wins in six and punters who bet on cricket quickly decided that there was always only going to be one winner.

A single loss against Somerset hardly slowed the Giles juggernaut, with line betting fans seeing them a a safe weekly punt. After taking Worcestershire apart by seven wickets at Edgbaston in August, suddenly the title was in sight.

It is fitting that a squad that came so close last season can hold together for a new campaign and go one better. Praise must be given to Giles for keeping this Warwickshire team settled as he becomes one of few men to win the County Championships both as a player and coach.

Friday, September 7, 2012

England Can Win T20 Without KP- Swann

England’s talismanic spinner, Graeme Swann, is sure that his side have what it takes to retain the World Twenty20 trophy regardless of the fact that their star batsmen, Kevin Pietersen, will not be taking part in the tournament.

Pietersen was left out of England’s Twenty20 squad following a row with the ECB over his contract and allegations about his conduct with the South African team during their recent test series in England.

Whilst recognising Pietersen’s immense talent, Swann is keen to point out that England are not just a one man team.

“Of course we can win it without any single player,” Swann said. “Obviously he [Pietersen] is a world-class player and was the player of the tournament in the West Indies [when England won the tournament in 2010].

"Ideally he would still be a part of the team but hopefully when we get out there the guys who fill that position will do it well.”

Pietersen, who has averaged 38 with the bat in his 36 T20 internationals for England, carries a great deal of experience and his absence has undoubtedly had an effect on their ranking in the T20 World cup betting .

However, Swann is confident that England have a number of younger players and relatively unknown cricket tips who can step up and do a good job for their country.

“Last time we played without him [Pietersen], Alex Hales got 99. The pressure comes from outside. If people focus on it, then it will build, but for the guys who come in they are getting an opportunity and there is always pressure to perform when that happens” Swann said.

England face South Africa in a three match T20 series before heading out to Sri Lanka for the tournament itself, where they face Afghanistan in their opening game on 21st September. Regardless of the young talent that England have coming through, Pietersen will certainly be a big miss for them and it seems doubtful that many fans will share Swann’s confidence.