iBet: Auckland Wicket May Suit Anderson

Gareth Purnell

Test Cricket

England V New Zealand, third test, Auckland

Back James Anderson to be England’s top bowler at 2/1

The way this match goes will probably be governed by how the drop-in pitch performs. England have been very good in ‘deciders’ of late. But New Zealand skipper Brendan McCullum is on record as preferring a slow, docile pitch similar the ones for the first two tests, thanks very much. The key man is Eden Park head groundsman Mark Perham, and he is saying that he expects there to be something there for the new ball, but that batsmen that ‘get in’ could get a big score. And although I do fancy England at 4/6, that makes betting on the result and the performance of the top order batsmen dangerous. They could get out in single figures, or go on to make hay. It does however sound like a seamers wicket and bowling performances might be more predictable, especially on England’s side. Of England’s new ball pairing, Steven Finn (3/1 to be England’s top wicket taker) seems to be bowling too short and the Stuart Broad’s excellent effort in the second test means we are getting a decent price about the ever-consistent James Anderson, who loves it when the new ball is moving about.

West Indies steamrollered Zimbabwe in the first test at the Kensington Oval and are 1/5 to do so again. However, a value bet may be to take the even money offered by Bet365 that there will not be a first innings century in the second test at Windsor Park. It’s a virtual certainty that no-one in the Zimbabwe line-up will get to three figures so you are basically betting that no West Indian will, and the bet would have copped readily in the first test.

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