Cricket World Cup 2019 Betting Matches 3 and 4: Taylor and Ferguson to the fore

Ed Hawkins

Friday, May 31, 2019 6:16 PM UTC

Friday, May. 31, 2019 6:16 PM UTC

Ed Hawkins (@cricketbetting) previews the first double header of the tournament and finds some tops value
<div><h2><strong>New Zealand v Sri Lanka</strong></h2><p><strong>Saturday 10.30</strong></p><p>This is a bit of a mismatch. <a href="https://www.oddsmarket.com/tips/cricket/icc-cricket-world-cup-2019-complete-betting-guide/90025/" target="_blank">New Zealand are a strong fancy</a> for the semi-finals. <a href="https://www.oddsmarket.com/tips/cricket/world-cup-betting-sorry-sri-lanka-clutch-at-straws/89847/" target="_blank">Sri Lanka</a> are a strong fancy to finish bottom. The Kiwis have a settled, classy XI. Sri Lanka have left a clutch of their top batters and bowlers at home.</p><p>Little wonder, then, that the bookmakers make New Zealand short favourites. They are 1/4 (1.25) with <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18&amp;f=1" target="_blank">Bet365</a>, <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=1ba923f3-5341-4bda-b457-0138ac61ae7a&amp;f=1" target="_blank">Betfred</a>, <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=acd6b93a-905e-45af-90ef-7eb1df661829&amp;f=1" target="_blank">Coral</a>, <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=b4150791-892f-469b-9b6a-7dfc6df0fb07&amp;f=1" target="_blank">Ladbrokes</a> and <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=a710bfac-73c1-4a57-b441-2caf1b9f397b&amp;f=1">William Hill</a>. The Lankans are 17/5 (4.4) with <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=153&amp;a=8ec6399a-9df1-4c52-b272-39e6428836a6&amp;f=1" target="_blank">Betfair</a>.</p><p>No matter, there is plenty of value elsewhere. Indeed, the top New Zealand runscorer market promises to be one of the most keenly fought in the tournament. Strong cases can be made for Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor.</p><p>Guptill was the overall top bat in the previous World Cup and the flat surfaces in England should suit his no-nonsense approach. Williamson is always popular because of his metronomic consistency while Taylor is probably the most underrated batsman in the world.</p><p>And it is Taylor who we will be betting here. Over the last two years he has copped a terrific 11 times in 31 matches. This should make him close to a 2/1 (3.0) chance. But Taylor is as big as 4/1 (5.0) with Betfair. That’s a big chunk in our favour.</p><p>Unsurprisingly Taylor has a superior record to Guptill and Williamson. The former has five wins in 26 and the latter six in 28. So odds of 7/2 (4.5) with Coral and Ladbrokes about Guptill and 3/1 (4.0) with Coral, Ladbrokes and William Hill about Williamson don’t hold much appeal.</p><p>We don’t have a particularly strong fancy on the Sri Lanka top bat market because there has been such a scattergun approach to selection. But we do know that Isuru Udana is no 30/1 (31.0) chance with Betfair. He can give it a fearful whack and has copped in recent months at big odds.</p><p>The top New Zealand bowler is always a favourite of ours but, alas, our love affair with Matt Henry seems to be at an end. A failure to land a regular place has meant his rhythm has suffered and two wins in 11 mean he is no longer the value he once was.</p><p>Instead, look out for Lockie Ferguson. He is 4/1 (5.0) with Betfair and he has a hit rate which suggests he should be a point shorter. Trent Boult is a dangerous rival, of course. We think he is superb but at 11/4 (3.75) he’s too short and he’s more like 7/2 (4.5).</p><h2>Best tips for the match</h2><p><strong>Ross Taylor top NZ bat 4/1 Betfair</strong></p><p><strong>Lockie Ferguson top NZ bowler 4/1 Betfair</strong></p><p> </p><h2>Afghanistan v Australia</h2><p><strong>Sunday 13.30</strong></p><p>Another mismatch? Maybe not. The cricket world is in love with Afghanistan, not just because of humble beginnings and their unlikely surge to book consecutive World Cup spots. They have gun players. World stars, in fact, who are in demand for the T20 franchise leagues.</p><p>The likes of Rashid Khan, Mujeeb ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi are well known to those who follow the Big Bash and Indian Premier League. But new names could come to the fore here with the wonderful Hazaratullah Zazai a prospect. Zazai gives it a fearful thump in his role as blitzer at the top of the order. He’s only been playing hard-ball cricket for six years!</p><p>This talented crop could give Australia, the holders a fright or three in Bristol. But, in truth, the 7/1 (8.0) that Bet365 and Betfair offer just doesn’t do enough. The Afghans have four wins against the Top Eight (three against West Indies and one against Sri Lanka) and although we expect them to add to that tally in this tournament we can’t get involved at the prices.</p><p>Shrewdies will spot the 16/1 (17.0) that Ladbrokes offer about Rashid man of the match. Now, if Afghanistan are going to win, Rashid is going to have to bowl well. So there’s not a huge amount of difference between the Afghan win market and Rashid’s odds.</p><p>For in-running players, the story might be different. There is room for a trade on the exchanges with Afghanistan chalked up at around the [10.0] mark. It would not surprise us if they got a foothold to reduce that number significantly.</p></div>
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