Cricket betting: Spinner Shah could make things Messi for England

 
Will Atkins
CRICKET-ENG-PAK
Yasir Shah could profit if the Old Trafford pitch offers turn, as expected (Source: Getty)

Pakistan's performance against England at Lord’s last week couldn’t have gone much better and it is no surprise they have a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.

They were in control of the game throughout, taking a first innings advantage after a century from captain Misbah-ul-Haq before leg-spinner Yasir Shah helped wrap the game up with 10 wickets for just 141 runs.

As the army-style push-ups on the pitch would suggest, 42-year-old skipper Misbah has also developed a much-needed camaraderie in his talented side.

Remarkably, the Pakistan captain has also developed a knack for winning the toss.

He guessed correctly for the seventh time in succession at Lord’s – the longest successful coin-contest streak ever.

If you fancy him to make it an eighth, it’s 10/11 with Betway.

England, on the other hand, have work to do ahead of the second Test which begins at Old Trafford on Thursday morning.

Jimmy Anderson and Ben Stokes return after injury, and will improve a side who battled hard, but were ultimately outplayed in the opener.

One bright spark, however, was the all-round form of Chris Woakes.

Earlier this year, it looked like the Warwickshire man wasn’t cut out for Test cricket, but he has made himself an important part of the team.

He took 11 wickets in the match, as well as adding valuable runs with the bat.

Indeed, it looked at one stage as though he and Jonny Bairstow could lead England to an unlikely victory.

However, his virtuoso performance masked failings for the Three Lions with the bat.

James Vince and Gary Ballance looked ineffective in the middle order, and too many England players threw their wickets away.

Stokes’ return will help, but Lionel Messi lookalike Shah – called “the best leg-spinner since Shane Warne” by Stokes this week – will be licking his lips, especially if the pitch turns as expected.

Momentum is key in a Test series, and Pakistan have it.

They are 12/5 to win with Betway, which I think is a great price.

England’s bowling attack looks strong, especially with Anderson back in it. But I don’t think the batsmen have the weight of runs to trouble Pakistan.

Elder statesmen Misbah and Younis Khan knuckled down and ground out the runs at Lord’s, showing an application the Three Lions batsmen appear to lack.

I’m selling England first innings supremacy at 35 with Sporting Index.

Pointers

Pakistan, 12/5 Betway

Sell Eng first innings supremacy 35 Sporting Index

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