Australia v South Africa Cricket Betting Preview – Friday 11th November By @herefordrich

Australia v South Africa, 2nd Test – Bellerive Oval at 23:30 live on BT Sport 3

The Scene

A week after South Africa’s latest Perth Test match victory, the second of three Tests between the tourists and hosts Australia gets underway on Saturday morning in Hobart.

The first Test ebbed and flowed in a way that the games longest form is supposed to. At 32-4 on the first morning, South Africa scrapped their way to 242 before Australia found themselves racing along at 158-0 in reply. This soon became 203-7 and then 244 all out as the home side collapsed in a heap against a Dale Steyn-less South African attack.

At 45-2 second time around Australia remained favourites before centuries from JP Duminy and Dean Elgar led the visitors to an unassailable lead. Even a bowler light, South Africa sealed victory by a huge 177 runs late on day five to take a on-nil lead heading into Hobart and Adelaide.

Steve Smith’s Australia have now lost their last four Test matches, having been defeated three-nil in Sri Lanka last time out. Victory for stand in skipper Faf du Plessis this week could see him take over the Test stewardship full time from the injured AB de Villiers.

This is a ground that Australia have a fine record at having only ever lost one Test. That match in question was a stunner as New Zealand won in 2011 by the narrowest of seven run margins.

 

Conditions

Sadly day one is looking like it could be a washout, with a 90% chance of rain occurring throughout Saturday. Sunday isn’t looking much better before things improve considerably on days 3,4 &5. There will be strong winds present so naturally this could all change, but at the moment be careful backing a winner before the off as any rain that does arrive will only shorten that draw price.

 

The Venue

Here’s a list of sides 1st innings scores at Hobart in the last five Tests along with the winner/result of each Test in bold text

2015 1st inns –  583/4d (AUS), 2nd inns – 223 (WI) – AUS

2012 1st inns – 450/5d (AUS), 2nd inns – 336 (SL) – AUS

2011 – 1st inns – 150 (NZ), 2nd inns – 136 (AUS) – NZ

2010 – 1st inns – 519/8d (AUS), 2nd inns – 301 (PAK) – AUS

2007 1st inns – 542/5d (AUS), 2nd inns – 246 (SL) – AUS

Batting in the 1st innings of the match in this period – Average 448

Batting in the 2nd innings of the match in this period – Average 248

NOTE – (we’ve ignored 3rd and 4th match innings for the purposes of this column which has been written for each sides 1st innings of the Test)

 

Form Guide & First Inns Runs

Here are Australia‘s last ten 1st innings scores in Tests, plus result in brackets –

244 (L) 379 (L) 106 (L) 203 (L) 505 (W) 562 (W) 176/2 (D) 551/3d (W) 583/4d (W) – Average 348

Here are South Africa‘s last ten 1st innings scores in Tests, plus result in brackets –

242 (W) 481/8d (W) 263 (D) 475 (W) 313 (L) 627/7d (D) 214 (L) 121 (L) 79 (L) 214 (D) – Average 302

 

Teams

Australia will be forced into two changes; one with the bat and one with the ball. Shaun Marsh has a broken finger and will miss the rest of the series whilst Peter Siddle has a bad back. Joe Mennie or Jackson Bird will replace Siddle, whilst Joe Burns is likely to regain his place after being dropped for Marsh before the final Test in Colombo. 31 year-old batsman Callum Ferguson has also been added to the squad as Adam Voges has a hamstring niggle. Voges made a double hundred on this ground last year. Opening bat David Warner carried his bat here with an unbeaten ton during that seven run defeat to New Zealand five years ago whilst captain Smith has only ever batted once at Hobart, making just ten runs. Concerns linger over Mitchell Marsh batting at six given his Test average is a lowly 23.1 in 31 innings whilst wicket-keeper Peter Nevill showed admirable fight in Perth with knocks of 23 off 66 balls and 60* off 153 balls. Hazlewood (below) will lead the seam attack alongside Mitchell Starc and one of Mennie/Bird. Off spinner Nathan Lyon needs to bounce back from a poor showing at Perth. Match figures of 44-4-184-2 can surely be written off as a one-off, however the rain forecast might mean he won’t get many overs to redeem himself.

South Africa will also need to make a change given Dale Steyn’s shoulder injury that has ruled him out for upwards of six months. All-rounder and uncapped paceman Dwaine Pretorious joins the squad, but Steyn’s replacement is likely to be either Kyle Abbott or Morne Morkel. Vernon Philander and MOM Kagiso Rabada bowled with great heart, sharing 12 wickets during the 1st Test. What was most impressive about the runs compiled by the tourists was the fact Hashim Amla only contributed one run. Dean Elgar is becoming consistent as an opening bat with five centuries to his name now, four of which have been made at the top of the order. 37 and 32 from du Plessis at Perth suggests the skipper is in decent touch whilst Duminy (below) appears to finally be delivering the weight of runs his class has promised for many years. Wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock won this column first innings top run scorer at 8.0 at Perth, as contributions of 84 and 64 went alongside a tidy performance with the gloves. Temba Bavuma’s 1st innings of 51 was arguably worth double having come in at 32-4. His career average of 38.3 will surely only improve with each match.

 

Cricket Betting

Josh Hazelwood

Ones To Watch

Josh Hazlewood has fond memories of this venue, having taken 4-45 and 3-33 during Australia’s innings win here last year against the West Indies. Right arm seamer Hazlewood has now taken 82 wickets at 26.9 apiece during his 21 Test matches to date and is a key man in Smith’s XI.

JP Duminy made his South Africa Test debut during their tour to Australia some eight years ago. He has since only played 37 Test matches as he has been in and out the side due to failing to live up to expectations. His second innings 141 at Perth last week could just be the making of him as he approaches his 33rd birthday.

 

Runs Markets

Given the forecast, whoever bats first I recommend backing any UNDER RUNS around the 290-295 mark.

 

Top First Innings Batsman Market

Peter Nevill looked as good as any Australian bat during the first Test and if we expect batting to be hard work, it always makes sense to look down the order. He can be backed at 15.0 at Betvictor to top score here.

Faf du Plessis loves a dig in and excels in occupying when the going gets tough – there’s some value in backing him to top score for his South Africa outfit at 10.0 with Bet365.

 

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @herefordrich.

 

Read More...

Nedbank Challenge 2016 Golf Betting Preview – Thursday 10th November By @herefordrich

Nedbank Challenge 2016 – Sun City at 06:00 live on Sky Sports 1

Last weeks golf

Picking a winner that is horribly out of form isn’t an easy thing to do, so missing out on Thorbjorn Olesen’s fourth European Tour victory was not that disappointing. What was upsetting was leaving out Li Haotong at 200/1 who played brilliant golf over the weekend to finish comfortably inside the places – a week after this column had tipped him up at 500/1 in China – annoying.

Anyway, all three picks finished in mid table obscurity. Scott Hend raced to a T7 on Saturday before a triple-bogey cancelled out a run of three birdies in a row, whilst Lucas Bjerregaard started and finished brightly, but a stone cold putter during rounds two and three meant he never featured after day one. Kiradech Aphibarnrat never got in the mix, his iron play letting him down all week.

So after two poor weeks we move on to South Africa, hoping we can quickly improve the years ROI which stands at +7.1% for 2016.

 

Tournament History & Field

The Nedbank Golf Challenge was first played in 1981 and has been a co-sanctioned Sunshine and European Tour event since 2013. This is the first year that the tournament has formed part of the European Tour’s final series of events and like last week in Turkey, we have a limited field with no 36 hole cut.

Past winners here include the three men mentioned below as well as high class champions such as Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia and Jim Furyk.

Stenson and Kaymer feature this week alongside other South African stars Branden Grace and Louis Oosthuizen, as well as other big names Andy Sullivan, Danny Willett, Rafa Cabrera Bello and Alex Noren.

 

The Course

The Gary Player Country Club in Sun City measures in at an eye-watering 7,831 yards, however being situated at altitude means it actually plays closer to 7,100 yards. It is a parkland course described as having narrow fairways and small, bunker-surrounded greens. There are four par five’s and four par three’s making up a traditional par of 72.  

All the long holes come inside the first 14 holes and measure at 569, 596, 547 and 601 yards. These four holes all played within the five easiest holes of the week last time out. Holes 5,6,7 and 8 all averaged above par last year when Leishman won. If you pick needs to birdie the last then you are in trouble as only 16 birdies were recorded here all week – the fourth toughest hole on the course. The 17th also saw the most double bogeys or worse recorded last time out, so it isn’t an easy finish at the Gary Player layout.

 

Conditions

Thursday and Sunday are looking clear but Friday and Saturday’s early forecast suggests some electrical activity could interrupt proceedings. In a reduced field, we should still have plenty of time to get a 72 hole event in though.

Nedbank Golf Challenge Past Winners & Key Stats

2015 Marc Leishman (-19) – DA 12 DD 6 GIR 1 PPGIR 8 Scrambles 16/17

2014 Danny Willett (-18) – DA 24 DD N/R GIR 3 PPGIR 4 Scrambles 18/21

2013 Thomas Bjorn (-20) – DA 5 DD 4 GIR 1 PPGIR 6 Scrambles 13/16

 

Recommended Bets

Charl Schwartzel 22/1 EW with BetVictor (now 21s)

Out of 193 golf bets I’ve placed this year, only four have been at odds of 30/1 or less. This makes this selection of South African Charl Schwartzel go against the grain, somewhat. The simple fact is I think this years Valspar Championship and Tshwane Open winner is great value this week to add a third trophy to his 2016 haul at 22s. Charl has an outrageously good record in his home land in recent times with South African staged event form reading W, T9, W, T5, 2 coming into this week. He’s featured inside the top 10 in seven out eight appearances on this layout and he certainly fits the class act winner profile seemingly needed to win round here. I just cannot see how he doesn’t feature this week and am happy to load up.

 

Golf Betting

Charl Schwartzel

Thongchai Jaidee 51/1 EW with Bet365

Thongchai was right in the mix in Turkey up until a slow weekend saw rounds of 70 and 73 undo the excellent 67 and 66 he opened with. Jaidee has terrific course form here with top ten finishes in all three of his starts at the Gary Player Country Club and he proved in the summer during his Open de France win that he has quickly become a horses for courses type golfer. Now an eight time winner on tour, he won’t be afraid to get the job done on Sunday if in the mix. Finally he was just about the best putter on show in Turkey – never a bad stat to have on your side.  

Kiradech Aphibarnrat 81/1 EW with Betfair

OK, I know – third event running I’ve backed Kiradech – but I promise there’s more to his ongoing selection than pure stubbornness. This is a layout Aphi seems to enjoy having finished T16 and T5 here during his past two outings here and I was impressed by his putts per green and putts per round stats last week in Turkey (16th and 13th respectively) His irons were a little off judging by a greens in regulation stat of 52nd out of a field of 78th, but Kiradech’s short game is clearly in good order, as is his long game off the tee. Sometimes in (golf) betting you need to stay loyal and this is just one of those such instances.

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @herefordrich.

 

Read More...

India v England Cricket Betting Preview – Wednesday 9th November By @herefordrich

India v England, 1st Test – Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium at 03:30 live on Sky Sports 2 and Sky Sports Mix

The Scene

Apart from the Ashes, five match Test series are about as rare these days as a Kumar Dharmasena correct umpiring decision. This is the first time India has hosted a five match series in the games longest form since Pakistan visited, some 29 years ago. It’s also the first time England have contested an away five match series (other than against Australia) since touring South Africa in 2004/2005.

Rajkot hosts the first match before the series head to Vizag, Mohali, Mumbai and Chennai. There are bound to be large ebbs and flows that accompany any elongated Test series, but make no mistake, this promises to be the toughest of assignments for Alastair Cook’s men over the coming weeks.

Virat Kohli’s India are on a roll in Test matches, unbeaten in 11 matches against 4 different Test playing nations. At home they haven’t lost since England turned them over in Calcutta, all the way back in 2012. England meanwhile arrive days after gifting Bangladesh their biggest Test match win in their history and a one-all series draw.

A big part of India’s success’ at home against the likes of Australia, South Africa and more recently New Zealand has been the nature of the surfaces curated to undoubtedly suit the strengths of the home side.

Rajkot might be a new venue to Test cricket but expect much of the same – turn from day one and plenty of men around the bat – especially when Ravi Ashwin is bowling.

Conditions

Rajkot is steaming hot at present – scorching sunshine and temperatures in the mid to late 30c’s can be expected for all five days – if the match goes its entirety, of course.

The Venue

The Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot, hosts its first ever Test match this week. Because of this we have to turn to the Ranji trophy for recent first and second innings performances at this venue –

Recent First Innings First Class scores – 551, 239, 102, 238, 519

Recent Second Innings First Class scores – 437, 258, 148, 226, 273

Recent Results in First Class cricket here – Draw, Draw, W (side bat 1st), W (side bat 1st), W (side bat 1st)

Batting in the 1st innings of the match in this period – Average 329

Batting in the 2nd innings of the match in this period – Average 268

NOTE – (we’ve ignored 3rd and 4th match innings for the purposes of this column which has been written for each sides 1st innings of the Test)

Form Guide & First Inns Runs

Here are India’s last ten 1st innings scores in Tests, plus result in brackets –

316 (W) 318 (W) DNB* (D) 353 (W) 500 (D) 566 (W) 334 (W) 215 (W) 80/0* (D) 201 (W) –

Average 350

Here are England’s last ten 1st innings scores in Tests, plus result in brackets –

244 (L) 293 (W) 328 (L) 297 (W) 589/8d (W) 272 (L) 416 (D) 498/9d (W) 298 (W) 342 (L)

Average 357

Teams

India are without Shikar Dhawan, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma for the foreseeable, so expect Gautam Gambhir to continue at the top of the order. Murali Vijay averages 39.7 in 42 Test matches and will be keen to cement his place in the XI given the injuries to others. Chet Pujara looks back to his best with a century in the recent series win against New Zealand and an average of 74, whilst captain Kohli (below) can surely only improve on what is a dire record against England. Ajinkya Rahane has a Test ton versus Cook’s men but will be keen to improve on an overall average of 33 that is his lowest against all Test nations expect Sri Lanka. Wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha’s recent performances have stopped even the most hardened of Dhoni’s supporters craving their hero – Saha averaged 112 against New Zealand with two fifties in three knocks – this on the back of the away series in the West Indies in which he scored his first century. Ravi Ashwin will surely be the main man with the ball. The canny off-spinner took 27 wickets in the 3 match New Zealand series and now has 220 wickets in 39 Test matches. Ravi Jadeja is ever dangerous is the surface is low and slow with his slow left armers whilst seam should come from Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav.

England can’t say they are not prepared for this series. The players that perform in ODI’s and Test matches have been in Asia for well over a month now and of course the red ball specialists come in straight from a win in Chittagong and a loss in Dhaka. Alastair Cook had a quiet series against Bangladesh but arrives in India with a career batting average of 54.2 against the hosts. Cook debuted in Nagpur way back in 2006 and has scored 5 centuries and 7 fifties in 20 Tests versus India. Ben Duckett is likely to start the series as his opener after a busy 56 in the unsuccessful run chase in Dhaka whilst Joe Root’s 98 runs in 4 innings in the ‘Desh was way down on his expectations. Will Gary Ballance get another gig? A high score of 9 and just 24 runs suggest he could make way for Jos Buttler. If Buttler comes in, expect Jonny Bairstow to slip up to four in the order. Ben Stokes starred in Bangladesh with 128 runs and 11 wickets whilst fellow all-rounder Moeen Ali will have a big part to play with bat and ball. Moeen also struck 11 times in Bangladesh but his economy rate of 3.3 an over needs to come down. Gareth Batty could return after missing out in Dhaka whilst Broad (below) will lead the Jimmy Anderson-less seam attack alongside Chris Woakes.

Ones to Watch

Virat Kohli is a monster in modern day cricket terms. An ever improving India Test career average of 45 is only sub-fifty due to his surprisingly poor record against England. In 17 innings, Kohli averages just 20.1 with just one century and zero fifties. This will surely only improve over these five matches, starting this week in Rajkot.

 

Cricket Betting

Virat Kohli

Stuart Broad bowled England to victory in Chittagong with a mature display that befitted his 360 career Test wickets. Broad debuted in Sri Lanka some nine years ago and with no Jimmy Anderson for at least the first Test, his experience will be vital for Alastair Cook to turn to when the going gets tough.

First Innings Runs Markets

If India bat first I recommend backing any OVERS RUNS around the 300-305 mark.

If England bat first I recommend backing any UNDER RUNS around the 300-305 mark.

Top First Innings Batsman Market

Chet Pujara made a double ton during the 1st Test of the last series England played in India. He looks decent value to top score for the hosts at 5.0 here.

This could be a straight shoot out between Cook and Root all tour, but lets look down the order for now until either of England’s big two show signs of their best form. Jos Buttler is as high as 13.0 to top score here and looks a great bet – we get stakes back if he doesn’t get a place in the final XI.

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @herefordrich

Read More...