England v Bangladesh (8th July, 1st One Day International
If one thing’s for sure about this David versus Goliath clash, England feel confident of victory. As well they might, judging by the walloping Bangladesh received at the hands of an under-strength Sussex side on Saturday in which they collapsed to a lacklustre 104 all out. England are massive odds-on favourites, with a best price of 1/8 with Ladbrokes, compared to 6/1 for Bangladesh (888sport).
With England indulging in the luxury of resting Kevin Pietersen and Graeme Swann, it gives Jonathan Trott and James Tredwell the chance to impress. Trott is a fair-priced 11/2 (Stan James) to be England’s top batsman, while Tredwell is 9/2 (bet365) to be the home side’s top bowler.
Bangladesh rely heavily on their two star players, captain Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal, with both having performed admirably in the recent test series against England. While the two-match series never looked likely to throw up a surprise result, Bangladesh gave a decent account of themselves.
There was also a much-improved performance against Middlesex on Monday, in which two players battled to complete sturdy half-centuries, Imrul Kayes (77) and Jahurul Islam (88), something which helped Bangladesh triumph by 141 runs. As such, the 7/4 on offer at Stan James for the visitors to muster the highest opening partnership seems a proposition worth considering.
Having said that, if England achieve anything less than a comprehensive victory, questions will be asked. It could therefore prove prudent to grasp the 4/7 on offer at Boylesports for England to have the Highest First 15 Overs as the batsmen aim to prove they can still put on a show without a certain Mr Pietersen.