Cricket Betting: Australia v England – Third T20

Australia v England Third T20

Saturday February 10 – 7:20pm AEDT

Flying high after two wins to start the tournament, Australia will look to complete the home leg with another victory over England at the MCG on Saturday night.


Australia

The Aussies made it two from two when they overpowered England by five wickets at Bellerive Oval on Wednesday night. Captain David Warner won another toss and again sent the opposition into bat, although England started much better than New Zealand did in the opening fixture as they raced to 1/60 after six overs with Billy Stanlake (1/43 off four overs) on the receiving end of some brutal hitting. However it was Australia’s spinners who changed the course of the match with Ashton Agar (2/15 off three overs) making the initial breakthrough, before Glenn Maxwell ran through the English middle-order to finish with 3/10 off two overs as the visitors spluttered to a below-par 9/155.

Australia’s reply got off to a disastrous start when they lost both David Warner (4 off 2 balls) and Chris Lynn (0 off 2 balls) in the first over, however rookie opener Darcy Short steadied the ship with 30 off 20 balls, before Maxwell put his stamp on the match once more. The enigmatic all-rounder rode his luck to produce a stunning innings of 103 not out off just 58 balls with ten fours and four sixes, the last of which were the winning runs and brought up his century. Another win here will secure Australia’s place in the final before the competition shifts over the Tasman to New Zealand.

England

England ultimately succumbed on Wednesday night, though not before they had their chances. Some positive stroke-making from Dawid Malan (50 off 36 balls), Alex Hales (22 off 15 balls) and Eoin Morgan (22 off 14 balls) set an ideal platform, however their middle-order let them down against Australia’s slower bowlers with Sam Billings (10 off 9 balls) facing a fight to retain his place now that he has averaged just 9.11 from his past nine T20I innings’.

In the field, new-ball specialist David Willey picked up three key wickets but was also expensive as his three overs disappeared for 28. Tom Curran also had a night to forget as his four wicketless overs were dispatched for 39, although leg-spinner Adil Rashid was unlucky not to return better figures than his 1/30 off four overs after Maxwell survived a contentious catch off his bowling. Spinning all-rounder Liam Dawson looks a likely inclusion in Melbourne, while James Vince will also push for a spot, possibly at the expense of Billings. This match shapes as a crucial one for England, given that the back half of the tournament will be played at the home of their direct opponents for a final spot.

Melbourne Cricket Ground

If Warner calls correctly again I wouldn’t expect to see him change his strategy of bowling first, given that the side batting second won all four BBL matches played at the MCG this season. There were contrasting fortunes for Stars players at home with Maxwell averaging a respectable 28.00 at a strike rate of 138.27, however leggie Adam Zampa may find it tough to fight his way back into the starting XI after averaging 54 with the ball here at an economy rate of 7.71.

Key Stats

  • Australia have now won six of their past nine T20Is.
  • Australia have won seven of their past eight T20Is when bowling first.
  • England haven’t lost three consecutive T20I since March 2016.
  • England have won five of their past nine T20Is when bowling first.
  • Glenn Maxwell has top-scored in five of his past nine T20s.

The Verdict

Australia have rightfully come in, following successive wins, with unfancied England pushed out to clear underdogs.

Although two matches is not a significant sample size to determine that Australia have turned around their fortunes in T20 cricket, there’s no doubt that they are a team in serious form. Perhaps the most impressive element has been the performance of their undermanned bowling attack which has adapted to the conditions in both Sydney and Hobart admirably so although they are a relatively short price, I have no interest in taking them on again.

England may have come into the series full of confidence after they adjusted from test cricket to the 50-over format far more seemingly than their opponents, however it seems that Australia have been the quicker to acclimatise to 20 overs. Nevertheless the Three Lions still boast a formidable squad in this format and had they taken either of the chances offered by Maxwell they could yet have stolen victory at Bellerive, so I don’t wish to write them off hastily.

Although neither of the starting prices appeal, I believe a crucial factor to this match is the toss with both sides showing a propensity to prefer chasing. Furthermore there is a strong recent record in favour of the side batting second at the ground so I’d suggest waiting for the toss and backing whoever secures that crucial advantage of fielding first.

However if who don’t wish to wait for the toss for a wager then you could do worse than ride the wave of form currently being displayed by the electrifying Maxwell. After being omitted from the national test and ODI squads, Maxwell hit back with a superb BBL campaign and that form has carried onto the tri-series where he has scored 143 runs in two innings without being dismissed. All up in his last nine T20 innings Maxwell has scored 430 runs at the phenomenal average of 71.67 and ballistic strike-rate of 162.26. The man known as “The Big Show” has top-scored in five of those nine innings so I’m backing him to continue his amazing run and do it again here.

Betting Strategy

BACK –  Whichever team bowls first for 1 unit.

BACK – Glenn Maxwell Top Australian Batsman at 5.50 or bigger for 0.5 units.


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