Cricket Betting: Back to lay Tourists at Lords
Andrew Hughes reviews Saturday's Lords' action as the English side creeps closer to victory in the first Test against the West Indies.
As expected, day three saw England turn a potential match winning position into a probable one, but the West Indies once again showed some character, firstly to bowl the home side out by the middle of the afternoon and then to dig in throughout an evening session which saw first Daren Bravo and then Marlon Samuels offer stubborn support for the indefatigable Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
The West Indies quicks made the most of the second new ball that became available this morning, bowling to tight lines and persistently troubling England's middle order. Graeme Swann and Matt Prior did the sensible thing in the circumstances and played a few shots to lift the England total near to 400, but a first innings lead of 154 represented a slightly disappointing return.
Sadly for the tourists, they undid some of their good work and found themselves 36-3 at tea. Cue another epic Chanderpaul rearguard action which means they are still not completely out of it. But their next problem will be to find a way to score some runs on Sunday morning. If they continue to crawl along at three runs an over, they'll only be 50 or so ahead by the time the new ball is available just after lunch.
If you're thinking of backing the West Indies to win this Test at 30.0 and then going out for the day, I'd think again. For those odds to be landed, you would need Chanderpaul and Samuels to score quick runs on Sunday morning, withstand Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad with the new ball and push on again in the afternoon. You'd also need Kemar Roach and Fidel Edwards to make major inroads against the England top order. It isn't going to happen.
But with the old ball not doing much on what is essentially a decent batting pitch, Chanderpaul could well extend his resistance, so backing the tourists at 30.0 with a view to laying them at some point in the first session makes sense. But be wary of believing in miracles. Even if West Indies are still batting at lunch, get ready to hit that lay button as soon as the new ball is unwrapped because they won't last long against Anderson and Broad.