Cricket Betting: England looking for big total
The question will be how large a lead does Strauss want
As 'normal service' resumed on Day Two of the second Test between England and the West Indies thanks to an untroubled Andrew Strauss, Andrew Hughes does a round-up and looks ahead to Sunday.
After Day Two: England 259-2 trail by 111 runs on first innings
England 1.29 West Indies 27.0 Draw 5.2
On Friday, the brave and stylish batting of Marlon Samuels and Darren Sammy suggested that we might see a genuine contest over the next few days in Nottingham.
Sadly, on the evidence of Saturday's play, the tourists still have some way to go if they are to genuinely challenge the world's number one ranked team. Although Sammy reached a deserved century, they only managed to add another 66 as Tim Bresnan took three wickets in the first session.
As at Lord's, the West Indies pace bowlers then posed one or two problems for England's openers, but Kemar Roach committed the cardinal sin of stepping over the line in the process of bowling what would have been a wicket taking delivery on two separate occasions. Alastair Cook was the lucky batsman and although Ravi Rampaul later removed Cook when the score was 43 and Jonathan Trott at 123, the West Indies really needed two or three more early breakthroughs.
Rampaul aside, the rest of the bowling looked pretty toothless on a pitch that wasn't offering much. Crucially for Sammy's side, their potential trump card, Shane Shillingford proved completely ineffective, going for five an over and effectively being hit out of the attack at one point by Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen. Neither batsman was seriously troubled and unless Rampaul and Roach can work miracles with the second new ball, it isn't too difficult to forsee England approaching 600 by the close on Sunday.
The question will be how large a lead does Strauss want. We know the West Indies can dig in and this is not the kind of pitch that will turn sideways on the fourth and fifth days, although there could be some uneven bounce for Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan to exploit. Quick runs tomorrow and a first innings lead of 200 plus with two days to bowl the tourists out will probably be the target.
I think they'll want at least 550 on the board and they won't have any trouble getting them against this attack on this pitch, so backing '550 Runs or More' at 1.5 or even '575 Runs or More' at 1.8 in the England First Innings Runs Market is a sensible way to profit from the run fest.