England v Sri Lanka: Take the value on Plunkett at the Oval

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If the ODI series between England and Sri Lanka ended today, Liam Plunkett would be best remembered for one blow from his bat.

The strapping fast bowler struck the last ball of the first ODI for six to ensure that match at Trent Bridge was tied. However, his exploits with the ball, as they often are, have gone somewhat unnoticed.

The Yorkshireman is the leading wicket taker in the series after the first three matches, collecting seven scalps at an average of 23.14. Yet he is some way down the betting to be England’s top bowler in the fourth outing.

We make Plunkett 7/2 to be England’s leading wicket taker at the Oval, which is the same price as Steven Finn and Chris Jordan. Finn hasn’t played a game in the series yet, while Jordan got his first appearance in the washed out third ODI in Bristol.

Assuming the England management team don’t tinker with their lineup and rest Plunkett, those odds are well worth investing in.

The 31-year-old rarely lets the side down in limited overs cricket and has emerged as the leader of the white-ball attack for Eoin Morgan of late.

His record at Surrey’s home ground isn’t great, but then he’s only played two ODIs there with those assignments coming almost 10 years apart.

It’s his recent form which inspires confidence in this bet, having taken two wickets or more in each of his last five 50-over matches. Punters looking for a meatier price can place faith in Plunkett scooping man-of-the-match honours at odds of 16/1.

In terms of the match betting, we go 2/7 that Morgan’s men prevail in London, with Sri Lanka priced at 11/4.

The tourists have lost five of their nine ODIs at the Oval, with that run including three losses in five games against England.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.