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  • Andrew Cork

Cricket Second Test Match

We now move to round two of the three match test series between England and Sri Lanka. The venue for the match is Chester-le-Street in Durham where England have an unblemished record of 5 wins from 5 matches.

No doubt the Sri Lankan batsmen will be delighted to leave the seam and swing bowling-friendly Headingly pitch well behind them but, in truth, conditions are unlikely to much better up in the far North East of England.

To make matters worse, the Sri Lankan pace attack was further weakened by the loss through injury of Chameera, who joins Prasad on the treatment table. This leaves an attack painfully short of test wickets and it is difficult to envisage a situation where the Sri Lankan bowlers could take 20 wickets for a low enough cost to put pressure on England.

Let’s look at the odds available on the exchanges:

England – 1.24

Sri Lanka – 15.0

Draw – 7.8

The Met office weather forecast for the five days is:

Friday – Cloudy with occasional bright interludes

Saturday – Cloudy with occasional bright interludes

Sunday – Cloudy with bright sunshine late afternoon

Monday – Overcast, mainly dry

Tuesday – Light rain

The forecast suggests the weather for the first four days will allow a full day’s play although there is still much uncertainty about weather patterns for early next week.

This basically means that there is precious little evidence to suggest that the result will be anything other than a comfortable win for England. To make matters worse for the visitors, England’s main strike bowlers, Anderson and Broad, have excellent test match stats at the Durham ground. Anderson has taken 17 wickets from three tests at an average of 20 and Broad has 14 wickets from two at just shy of 15.

It is, therefore, difficult to get away from the fact that the chances of England winning are very high and this is reflected in their price of 1/4. If you are into betting at these type of odds then I am sure there are worse 1/4 shots as surely only complacency or trying to force a result too quickly will deny the home team victory.

At a more enticing price it may pay to look at the top Sri Lankan first innings wicket taker. With their pace attack looking so weak, a lot of work will surely be given to their only test class bowler, Rangana Herath. Admittedly this wicket will probably favour swing and seam and there is always the chance that the England top order will fail again but, on balance, Herath looks the percentage call at the 3/1 available from Ladbrokes.

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