The second of two Cricket World Cup matches scheduled to take place on Saturday goes at the Bristol County Ground as Australia take on Afghanistan from 1.30pm. Armchair fans can follow the play live on Sky Sports from 1.30pm and it also gives viewers the chance to see what shape the Aussies are in ahead of an important tournament for them. Here are our top Afghanistan v Australia betting tips.
Bookmakers put forward a fantastic array of betting opportunities and you can have your say on dozens of markets attached to this match, helping make the contest that bit more exciting. Watching live international cricket played in summer at a top venue is always a pleasure, but our aim is to come out of each match with more cash than we started. Bet smart and you could boost your bank balance while you enjoy the show. That’s a scenario that will appeal to all sports lovers.
Perfect Way to Silence the Critics
Australia endured a horrible period when the sport was shaken to its core in the country following the ball-tampering scandal. What followed was nothing short of shambolic, with players banned, heads rolling at Cricket Australia, fans turning their back on both organisers and the squad and pundits and ex-players quick to stick the boot in. All that resulted in the reputation of the team being dragged through the mud by the world media and left in tatters.
It looked like a body blow the nation would never recover from, but they knew the quickest way to repair the damage was to draw a line under it and shift the focus to their play by winning cricket matches again. The team had to endure a few false dawns with a couple of victories promising much, only to be followed by a hurtful defeat. Not everyone will agree due to the nature of their crime, but it was pleasing to see Australia bounce back as they are a force in world cricket and a strong Aussie side can only be good for the game.
The perfect way to silence the critics and prove they are back to where they want to be would be a World Cup win, on English soil no less, and bookmakers don’t appear to be in a mad rush to write them off. Oz start third in the outright betting with Bet365 one of a few major bookmakers offering 7/2 on them coming out on top. An appearance in the final is 7/4 at Ladbrokes or you can aim to play it safe and take a top four finish at 1/2 with Unibet. What a final England v Australia would be and that’s second favourite in the market with 13/2 offered, behind the 4/1 of England v India.
Stunning Warm-Up Win Over England
The Aussies suffered a mixed bag of results in the run-up to the World Cup, but they were spotted beating Sri Lanka in a warm-up match on 27 May. They blew off the cobwebs with a five-wicket success over a respected opponent, with the final scores reading Australia 241-5 (44.5) against the 239-8 (50.0) of Sri Lanka. An enjoyable match and both teams will take confidence from the outing. Sri Lanka certainly weren’t disgraced in defeat.
That win came on the back of a far more important one when beating England in a warm-up match on Saturday 25 May, smashing their hosts by a dozen runs. We shouldn’t read too much into that result, given the nature of the contest, but it would be foolish to completely disregard it. Australia rallied to a 297-9 score which eclipsed the effort of their opponents who managed only 285 all out. There were lessons learned by both teams that day and it was a defeat that brought England crashing back to earth following a couple of morale-boosting wins.
Steve Smith was one of the players banned for the ball-tampering scandal, but he made headlines for all the right reasons in Southampton when scoring a jaw-dropping century as he led by example. He hit 116 off 102 balls and showed, once again, just how important he is to the team. The Aussies are a stronger outfit with him playing and he’s sure to get the nod when things get serious. The quickest way to gain forgiveness for an Australian player is to put England to the sword. He did just that and Smith’s performance has the entire team believing they can go and cause an upset this summer and win the trophy.
Oz to Send Out a Message of Intent
Will we see more of the same in game one for Australia on Saturday against Afghanistan? They look to have been handed the perfect opportunity to make a winning debut when paired with an Afghan side who really aren’t in their league. Oz must remain professional to get the job done but we have no doubts they will do just that and record an emphatic victory without breaking a sweat, sending out a message to their rivals in the process.
Bookmakers have priced an Australian win over Afghanistan at 1/8 with Bet365. That may prove far too tight for most, but it is market best price and it’s also difficult to argue against that stance. Too short even for stacked accumulators, backers are forced into the specials as they search out a value bet that will make this game worthwhile. There’s 6/1 on Afghan when getting your stake money down at William Hill but that’s not a bet that interests us in any way. We’re sure to get a fair share of shock results over the coming weeks, but that won’t be one of them.
Australia to score the highest first 15 overs has been chalked up at 4/9 by Ladbrokes and that’s better than we expected to find, making it our best bet of the match. There’s enough in that one to warrant adding it to your weekend accumulators or you can go in big as a super single.