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Australia v Sri Lanka
Tuesday 15 February 08.10
TV: live on Sky Sports
Aussies could be without Smith
With three games to go Australia may have to resist the temptation to rest big names after game two went to a Super Over. One last push from Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc and they get a day off.
Steve Smith looks unlikely to play after he took a bang on the head in the field. That probably makes them stronger as they once again flopped at the death when batting first. But only if they get the pick right.
Big-hitter Moises Henriques would be preferable but they’ll probably go with Travis Head. Ashton Agar, Kane Richardson and Jhye Richardson are the bowlers waiting in the wings.
Probable XI: Finch, McDermott, Inglis, Maxwell, Head, Stoinis, Wade, Cummins, Starc, Hazlewood, Zampa
There’s no accounting for intelligence. Or ego. The latter was probably the big factor in skip Dasun Shanaka reckoning he was the man to take the Super Over after a brilliant Sri Lanka comeback.
Instead of Pathnum Nissanka – architect of that comeback with 73 from 53 and out in the last over – starting off Shanaka pulled rank. He missed the first three.
Possible XI: Nissanka, Gunathilaka, Avishka, Asalanka, Chandimal, Shanaka, Wanindu, Karunaratne, Chameera, Theekshana, Thushara.
Manuka Oval can be very good for batters. But the stats don’t quite show how flat it can be. In the last 15 Bash matches, stretching back to last year’s tournament, ten sides batting first busted 160 or more. But in three of those more than 200 was scored.
There’s also a toss bias in that study of games. Only five have been won by the team batting first. And obviously three of those were when a team (Thunder to be precise) made 200 or more.
The problem we have is that these are two teams who are not really set up for big runs. Australia particularly. Twice they should have been pushing for 180 but fell away.
Bet pitch dependent
Australia are 1.192/11. Despite being two-nil up they have looked anything but 1.192/11 shots so far. Sri Lanka, who are 5.309/2, could be considered as growing into the series.
What they boast is a great work ethic and solid plans in the field. This combined with Australia’s lack of intent with the bat keeps them keen.
A repeat is dependent on the pitch assisting Sri Lanka the way the SCG did. Historically it doesn’t appear to be that sort of surface so if you’re taking the outsiders be aware that it looks as though it’s a different ball game.
Thushara and Chameera could be on death duty again so both look potentials at 5/1 and 7/2 respectively for top Sri Lanka bowler. Chameera got a tie at the odds in game two and is very capable on this market.
Josh Hazlewood got the man of the match award he deserved in game one. Of course he also deserved it in game two. He’ll also get death duty so is a fair jolly at 11/4.
If we’re right that the pitch is good for batters, this could be a gong for a batter. Ben McDermott and Glenn Maxwell catch the eye at 7/1 and 15/2 respectively. They are 11/4 and 5/1 respectively for top bat. The latter is more our kind of bet. Bet on these markets here