THE reliability of rainfall and changeable weather during the English summer does have its plus points. Well, for the England cricket team it does at least. It helped them to a 10-wicket victory over Sri Lanka on Wednesday. The conditions at Trent Bridge enabled the Three Lions bowling department to regain its collective mojo and were particularly conducive for James Anderson. His figures of 3/24 included the removal of Sri Lanka skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan for a duck in the first over and, literally, swung the series back England’s way.
The hosts are favourites to win tomorrow’s fifth and final ODI at Old Trafford, a result that would clinch the series. The forecast for Manchester is mild and scattered showers are expected. So, with that in mind, back the England victory with Sportingbet at a best price of 8/11.
On home turf, Lancashire’s Anderson could again hold the key. He’s taken wickets in each of his four ODI appearances on the ground and 10 in total at an average of 15.60. Unless a sudden heatwave hits the North West, he’s a sound choice at 5/2 with William Hill to be England’s top bowler.
Anderson’s captain, Alastair Cook, is also expected to play a major role. The ODI captain has addressed his critics in the only way he knows how: by ramming run after run down their throats. After finishing the Test series as comfortably the leading scorer, he’s back at the top of the charts in the fifty-over format. In four matches, Cook has accumulated 267 runs at a career-defying strike rate of 97.80. Sporting Index offer his performance index for Old Trafford at 40-45 and Sportingbet go 3/1 that he ends the series with a strike rate above 100.0.
England at 8/11 with Sportingbet
James Anderson 5/2 to be top England bowler with William Hill