Strong opening stand key to England sealing Bangladesh series

When England turn out for what will now be the decisive third-and-final ODI of the Bangladesh series, keeping wickets intact early on will be a welcome change in strategy.

A middle-order rally in the first match at Mirpur – a game they won – masked a stuttering start to their batting innings in which the first three wickets fell inside the opening 13 overs with just 63 runs on the board.

Then, two days later, the tourists began chasing down the hosts total of 238, which Sky Sports experts believed to be 20-30 runs light, by collapsing to 26-4 inside 10 overs.

Another rescue mission, from Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler this time, took the total over 100 but when another mini collapse was triggered by the former’s dismissal, England’s slump to defeat looked inevitable.

An improved start will be timely for the third ODI, which takes place in Chittagong on Wednesday.

England are 5/6 with us to score over 28.5 runs for the first wicket, a score which the new opening partnership of Jason Roy and James Vince have passed once in two attempts.

In fact, England’s opening stand has only passed 50 twice in the last 16 ODIs.

The most recent came when Roy and Vince last opened together, against Sri Lanka in Cardiff last summer, while the other was the unbeaten mammoth of 256 that Roy and Alex Hales enjoyed against that same opposition.

The same price of 5/6 is available on England falling short of the 28.5 line against Bangladesh.

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


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.