There were several punters that got their fingers burnt backing the draw in the 1st Test between Pakistan and England, with a supposedly flat pitch set to end in the match finishing all square although the ‘home’ team had other ideas.
Indeed, few could have predicted Pakistan’s 10-wicket victory and they are available at 5/2 (bet365 £200 free bets) to claim another win in Abu Dhabi this week. It’s a big price considering how successful Saeed Ajmal was during the England 1st innings, taking 7 wickets including Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Strauss.
Apparently the teams will play on another ‘flat pitch’ from Wednesday onwards, with the Sheikh Zayed Stadium having hosted two previous Tests where a lot of runs were scored. Pakistan have drawn with South Africa and Sri Lanka at this ground so perhaps it is time to go for the draw at odds of 13/10 (Paddy Power bookmaker).
After all, England will be looking to correct their batting errors after being all out for 192 in the 1st Innings in Dubai before mustering a further 160 which barely made a total more than Pakistan has managed in one innings!
Matt Prior was the only player to manage a half century in the 1st innings and the English wicket keeper could be a good bet to top score again at odds of 12/1 (Ladbrokes free bets) considering that there are question marks when it comes to the form of Pietersen and Morgan.
It appears that the bowling attack will be slightly altered for the 2nd Test, with Monty Panesar set to come in and join Graeme Swann in the spin bowling attack, especially as Chris Tremlett is struggling with an injury. You can get 7/2 (William Hill free bet) that he makes an instant impression and he will have been encouraged by Saeed Ajmal’s performance in the 1st Test.
England are an 11/5 chance to claim victory and level the series, with the number one Test nation wanting to retain their crown for the foreseeable future. This series is by no means the sternest that they will endure during 2012 and it is important for the players to start finding the form that saw them claim an Ashes in Australia and a whitewash over India.
It is somewhat surprising to find the tourists as slight favourites to score more First Innings runs than their opponents considering the gulf between the two teams in Dubai, with Pakistan on offer at even money.