Thursday, 26 August 2010

Sri Lanka destroy India

Sri Lanka have secured their place in the final of the triangular series, which features themselves, India and New Zealand.

The hosts booked their place thanks to a convincing eight wicket victory over India in Dambulla and now wait to see who they will face – keep checking the latest cricket betting for odds on the match.

Thisara Perera’s career best of 5-28 helped restrict India to a meagre 103 all out. Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Kulasekara also got involved with two wickets apiece as India were skittled out in a disappointing 33.4 overs.

Yuvaj Singh was the only Indian batsmen to put up any real resistance with his 38 from 64 balls, which featured five fours and a six. He had little help from his colleagues though, with Virender Sehwag’s 12 the second highest score until he was trapped lbw by Kulasekara.

India never settled into their stride after they lost their opening wicket for 20. 21 year old Thisara Perera completed his first international five wicket haul by clean bowling number 11 Ishant Sharma to end the Indian innings.

Sri Lanka exploded out of the traps as they looked to knock off 104 with minimum fuss. Openers Tillakaratne Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene put on 50 inside the opening six overs but Sharma got both of them in consecutive balls with the score on 75. It was therefore left to captain Kumar Sangakkara and Upul Tharanga to see their side home in the 15th over to secure the emphatic win.

India will have another chance to reach the final when they go head to head with New Zealand in the remaining match of the tournament but for those who bet on cricket match outcomes, you will wonder whether a smarting India can bounce back.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Will England learn from the Mad Professor?

England are once again utilising an Australian expert in order to gain insider knowledge on the opposition ahead of this winter's Ashes aeries. For Troy Cooley in 2005 read John Buchanan in 2010.

Five years ago it worked with devastating effect with Cooley forging the four-man pace attack that ripped through the Australian top order during that thrilling summer.
Now Andy Flower's side have employed another man from down under, controversial former Australian team coach Buchanan, who is nicknamed the Mad Professor.

His slightly off-the-wall methods when in charge of the all-conquering Aussie team of the late 90s and early 2000s were often derided in the media and sometimes by his own players as being the ideas of a crackpot. Whatever the reason, Australia dominated the cricket odds during his time in charge.

A forward thinker, Buchanan sought to keep his team of winners motivated by methods such as poetry, the teachings of fifth century Chinese warlord Sun Tzu, lectures on a range of bizarre subjects including Hulk Hogan and the Bee Gees and even a military-style bush boot camp.

I would be surprised of any such methods filtered through to the England side, even though Buchanan is set to take on a major role. But his knowledge of the Australian players and perhaps crucially the Australian pitches could be, as former England batsman Mike Gatting said, "that extra one per cent that might help them win a match or two". The Ashes cricket betting make the home side firm favourites, so England need to try something to swing things in their favour.

Matches nowadays are won off the field as well as on it and I think it is encouraging that the ECB are seeking to gain every possible advantage ahead of the series.
On the other hand it could be more like what Shane Warne called it: "a load of verbal diarrhoea".

I guess we will find out at the Gabba in November.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Pakistan recall Yousuf

After losing the first two tests due to some seriously suspect top order batting, Pakistan look set to recall former captain Mohammad Yousuf for the third test at the Oval.

Yousuf was initially called up before the last test match at Edgbaston but wasn’t included in the team as he only arrived in the country 18 hours previously. Yousuf had been unable to practice in Pakistan due to the severe floods there but he has been able to do some work since arriving in England and looks set to be named in the team.

Cricket Betting pundits note how none of the Pakistani top order has made a 50 in the four innings they’ve batted. With their bowlers producing the goods, the batting has been the main reason for Pakistan being so comprehensively beaten in the opening two tests, along with their fielding. Yousuf will add some much needed quality and experience to his teams batting to boost their Cricket Odds for the Oval.

His record in test cricket is up there with the best. Yousuf has scored 7,431 runs at an average of 53.07 in his 88 Test matches. England have sufficient reason to be a little bit worried about Yousuf’s return to the team, on his last tour of England in 2006, the 36 year old posted scores of 202 (Lord's), 192 (Headingley) and 128 (The Oval).

Yousuf’s return comes just four months after he retired from international cricket. The reason for his retirement was due to a falling out with the PCB resulting in the player being banned indefinitely from playing for his country. He has seemingly made up with those in charge of the team and will look to restore some pride for his country in this series.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Swing master Anderson does it again

Cloudy skies, moist air and a green tinged wicket - perfect conditions for England's James Anderson.

The 'Burnley Express' can be infuriatingly inconsistent but when he is on form there are few better bowlers out there.

This is certainly the case on a swing friendly pitch like the one at Trent Bridge last week. The 28-year-old blitzed his way through the Pakistan batting line up, taking 5-54 and then 6-17 to finish with impressive looking figures of 11-71 and his first ever international ten wicket haul.

He is not quite the complete bowler and I suppose very few are. But what coach Andy Flower is keen to develop is a varied attack capable of adapting to different bowling conditions. And Anderson is the undisputed star of the show when it comes to swing - Broad can get some movement but not to the same extent.

The key for the Lancastrian is to not try too hard when the conditions aren't in his favour, this will be true in Australia and it's probably why the Ashes betting still favours the home side.

Too often in the past his determination to do well has turned to frustration, leading to a wayward and erratic line and consequently expensive figures.

There will be times when Anderson will have to play the support role - ably filled by Steven Finn and Stuart Broad this week - in order for England's bowlers to act as a unit, rather than individuals. This would boost their cricket betting odds no end.

If he can do that then coach Flower will have a talented set of bowlers collectively far greater than the sun of their parts.