ENGLAND v PAKISTAN ODIs

By David Jack

England and Pakistan are back in action today in the first of five one-day internationals at Chester-le-Street in Durham and it’s hard to see beyond another victory for the Three Lions.

The hosts eased to a 2-0 series victory in the T20s and are 4-11 with totesport, 888sport, Coral and Boylesports to win the opener, with an out-of-sorts Pakistan, available at 23-10 with Bodog.

I backed T20 skipper Paul Collingwood to lead England to victory in Cardiff on Tuesday so it will come as no surprise that I’m going for one-day captain Andrew Strauss to keep up the Auld Enemy’s winning run.

England are being heavily backed for a series whitewash (3-1 with Ladbrokes, William Hill and BlueSquare) but I’m not buying that as I reckon Shahid Afridi’s side will have at least one good day in five. Strauss’s boys to win 4-1 (19-10 Bet365), or perhaps 3-2 (9-4, Ladbrokes, Coral, William Hill) is more likely.

Alternatively if you fancy Pakistan to turn their tour on its head with a 5-0 win of their own you’ll get a massive 100-1 (Skybet, Paddy Power and Stan James). However anyone considering such a flutter is surely a couple of balls short of an over!

On Tuesday you will recall I backed Craig Kieswetter to be England’s top scorer and, but for a calamitous run-out on 16, chasing just 90, I would have been quids in at 4-1.

His recent batting slump has cost him his place in the one-day squad and therefore I’m backing Eoin Morgan, at tasty odds of 9-2 (William Hill) to be England’s top scorer today.

A glance down the Pakistan order and I’m drawn to skipper Boom Boom Afridi – available at odds of 10-1 with Ladbrokes to top-score for the tourists. Howzat!

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