Cricket Betting: West Indies batting revival
...there are other reasons for optimism for West Indies backers.
With Day One of the second Test over after a solid middle order batting partnership, Andrew Hughes feels the West Indies revival makes them a tempting proposition.
England 1.69 West Indies 6.6 Draw 3.75
Another day of two halves means that things are not exactly going to plan for England on a Trent Bridge pitch that didn't offer much help for most of their bowlers, with James Anderson once again the notable exception. Jimmy made the new ball talk and threw in a stunning slip catch to remove Adrian Barath and after Graeme Swann prized out Shivnarine Chanderpaul half way through the afternoon session, West Indies were 127-5 and in the process of undoing the progress of Lord's.
But once more the West Indies lower middle order repaired the damage. Captain Marlon Samuels and Darren Sammy offered stiff resistance, putting together an undefeated West Indian record of 168 for the seventh wicket. Of slight concern for the home side is the fact that the tourists were not merely digging in as they had done at Lord's. Sammy in particular found scoring easier as the day wore on, riding his luck against Anderson with the new ball and they finished on a respectable 304-6.
Naturally, we should be wary of going overboard about the West Indies. For all their fight at Lord's they still lost that First Test comfortably. This looks like a 400 run pitch and the tourists are still some 100 short of that par score. And we shouldn't read too much into the fact that England are not obviously on top at the end of Day One. They tend to grind their opponents down rather than demolish them in style and you can easily imagine the likes of Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott batting for a couple of days on this pitch and racking up an enormous score.
Having said all that, there are other reasons for optimism for West Indies backers. Fidel Edwards and Kemar Roach caused England trouble with the new ball at Lord's and the addition of Ravi Rampaul has strengthened their pace bowling. And whilst they don't have Sunil Narine, they do have Shane Shillingford, a much improved off spinner who caused Australia problems with his top spinner earlier in the year. No-one should need reminding how vulnerable this England batting line up can be to spin-bowling.
At this stage, I feel West Indies should be closer to 4.0 in the Match Winners market so 6.8 represents good value.