ODI Betting: Value from Sri Lanka
The Sri Lankan opening partnership is a chalk and cheese combination, but there is no doubt that the current captain is the more reliable performer than his predecessor
It's the Blue and Yellow who Andrew Hughes will be popping a few on in today's first ODI final in Brisbane.
Michael Clarke is back for this game but that leaves the Australian selectors with a tricky decision. They are unlikely to drop Daniel Christian after his five-wicket haul on Friday, so their choice is between dropping a batsman, with David Warner or Peter Forrest the likely candidates, or one of their bowlers, most likely Clint McKay.
Sri Lanka suffered a couple of injuries in Friday's game and have called up middle order batsman Chamara Kapugedera as a replacement. Of the three officially injured players, it looks like Thisara Perera may not recover in time, but Angelo Mathews is expected to be available, as is Fervez Maharoof who was on the bench last time.
Venue and Conditions
In the games played at Brisbane so far this series, the first innings scores were 288 and 289 and although both proved to be winning totals, there doesn't appear to be any particular disadvantage to batting second. The pitches for both those games were hard and fast and as with most of the venues in this tournament, both quick bowlers and aggressive batsmen will enjoy themselves.
This is the fifth meeting between these two teams in this tournament and given that Sri Lanka have won three of the last four, you might expect them to be favourites this time. But the market has reacted only sluggishly to their dominance over the hosts and Australia are still as short as [1.56] for this first final, odds which make no appeal at all.
Whilst the Australians have stuttered, lurching between good and bad performances and frequent reshuffles of their batting order, the Sri Lankans settled on a winning formula early on in the tournament and have stuck to it ever since. Their big name batsmen have all been amongst the runs and have coped well with the Aussie pace barrage. At [2.76] they are again the obvious choice in this match-up.
Top Australian Batsman
There is some doubt about who will bat where in the Australian line-up, with several combinations possible, depending on whether Peter Forrest, David Warner or neither are dropped. David Hussey is sure to play, and top-scored yet again on Friday, but now that Shane Watson has got amongst the runs with a useful half-century, he is the selection at [4.5] or better.
Top Sri Lankan Batsman
You could make a case for any of the Sri Lankan top six and with Kumar Sangakkara in form, he's a strong candidate at [4.5]. But I'm going to stick with Mahela Jayawardene who looked in determined mood on Friday but had no chance with his early run-out. He averages 45 at the Gabba and is backable at [4.5] or more.
The Sri Lankan opening partnership is a chalk and cheese combination, but there is no doubt that the current captain is the more reliable performer than his predecessor and it makes sense to back Mahela Jayawardene + 0.5 runs at [1.85] or better in the 'Jayawardene v Dilshan' market.
Back Sri Lanka to beat Australia at 2.76