England v Pakistan 3rd T20I: 8/1 Ali can have tourists in a spin

 | Sunday 26th May 2024, 16:41pm

Sunday 26th May 2024, 16:41pm

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It’s the 3rd T20I on Tuesday May 28 (18:30, Sky Sports Cricket) between England and Pakistan and the hosts are 1-0 up after the first game was rained off and winning the second.

James Pacheco has some profits from a 13/5 winner last time out to reinvest and Moeen Ali and Fakhar Zaman are carrying his money this time.

Rajasthan Royals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad Betting Tips

  • Moeen Ali to be England Top Wicket Taker @ 8/1
  • Fakhar Zaman to be Pakistan Top Run Scorer @ 5/1

England
England put on a pretty strong performance for a team that hadn’t been in action for months on end.

Jos Butler was at his best at the top of the order with a fine 84 off 51 to remind us he’s still got it after some feared he might be past his prime. Will Jacks also impressed with a quickfire 37 off 23 but no-one else could kick on after some good starts.

Still, that will happen when batsmen are always thinking about good strike rates and Jofra Archer’s late 12 off just four was a bonus; 183 was a competitive total.
With the ball Moeen Ali was very good with 2-26 and Reece Topley took 3 off 3.2 over for a rather more expensive 41 runs. Archer also did his bit with the ball with 2-28 and that’s perhaps the biggest positive of all with the World Cup just around the corner.

Sam Curran could get a game, possibly at the expense of Liam Livingstone, and it will be interesting to see if Archer plays twice in four days after such a long time out.
Possible XI: Buttler, Salt, Jacks, Bairstow, Brook, Ali, Sam Curran, Jordan, Rashid, Archer, Topley.

Pakistan
Pakistan only used five bowlers in conceding that 183/7 with our top bowler pick Shaheen Shah Afridi taking 3/36 to deliver a nice winner at 13/5.
But the stand-out bowler was Imad Wasim with 2/19, who also scored some runs (22 off 13) to cement his place in the side. Shahad Khan went wicketless for a costly 55 while the pacey Haris Rauf also took two wickets.

In reply no-one got to 50 with Fakhar Zaman top-scoring with 45 off 21. We’re no closer to knowing who will open at the World Cup with Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam and Sam Ayub all well suited to that role. But if it’s Azam at three again here, that might provide a clue the skipper will be the one batting at one down next month.

Naseem Shah could come in for one of the three quicks if they feel he deserves a chance to impress. Hasan Ali has been released from the tour, so he won’t be at the World Cup, either, one presumes.

Possible XI: Ayub, Rizwan, Babar, Fakhar, Azam Khan, Imad, Iftikhar, Shadab, Afridi, Amir, Rauf.

Pitch and conditions
England have a near-perfect record at Cardiff in T20Is, winning eight out of nine, the only blemish being a defeat here to South Africa last year. SA posted 207/3 in that one and won by 58 runs. Other matches were a bit of a mixed bag with some low-scores mixed in with some around the 170 mark so it’s not easy to know what a par score is here.

England have beaten Pakistan here on three occasions (twice in 2010, once in 2019) with England posting 173 batting first in that game five years ago. Curiously, none of England’s Top 7 in that match are still featuring for them now.

Match Winner odds - and all the match markets
Pakistan looked a value bet ahead of the first game but at no stage were they ahead, so odds of 17/10 are more of a gamble than anything, especially with England’s very strong record at Cardiff.

You could do worse than hope England start slowly, hold out for 2.0 in live betting and get on the hosts at that price. It’s not inconceivable that an opening burst from Amir and Afridi could have England two down for not that many if they bat first, so that could be a good strategy.

England Top Bowler
We had a punt on Moeen Ali with the bat last time out at a big price hoping he’d bat higher up than expected because of the whole left-hand-right combination that everyone is so obsessed with. But he didn’t, he came in at six and was never in contention.

However, he did bowl four overs, including the first of the innings and bowled really well for his 2-26; very unlucky not to win the market, with Topley getting one more.

If the plan is for him to consistently bowl four overs for England at the World Cup, he might well do so here again, on a track where spinners have enjoyed success in the past. It’s pretty insulting to Ali that he’s more than twice the price (8/1) of fellow spinner Rashid (100/30) so he’s definitely a value pick.

Pakistan Top Batsman
For Pakistan, Fakhar Zaman looks big at 5/1. The general trend is for batsmen to be shortened in odds after winning last time out (which he did) but Betfred have gone the other way here and he’s slightly bigger than he was ahead of the second match.

We know he’s in good nick, we know he’s batting at four and can score quickly so even if the Top 3 hang around for a bit, he can still make up for it. Going back-to-back is hard to do but then again, it shows he’s seeing the ball well so he can certainly put in a repeat performance.

Shadab Khan had a poor game all-round but 8/1 looks decent for a very capable batsman who batted at five last time. As usual, the uber-consistent Babar Azam is favourite at 21/10 and a tricky track may suit him more than others, but we prefer Zaman at the far bigger price.

Summary

Moeen Ali to be England Top Wicket Taker @ 8/1

Fakhar Zaman to be Pakistan Top Run Scorer @ 5/1

Full details of all the match markets

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