Pietersen return to make the Black Caps trip home even longer
After the occasionally gripping but more often-than-not, low- octane fare offered by the Champions Trophy, the T20 cricket action returned with a vengeance on Tuesday evening at the Oval.
New Zealand batted first and bludgeoned a staggering 201 runs while England came up five short by only scoring 196. In all, 33 fours and 15 sixes were scored and it could happen again as the same foes lock horns at the same ground over the same format.
Over the shortest mode of the game, matches at this level are finely balanced with little to separate the sides. Thus the value lies with the Black Caps at 11/10.
However, Ashley Giles’s men, have won seven out of ten T20s against New Zealand and the sight of the returning Kevin Pietersen walking out to bat, will send shivers down the spines of Brendan McCullum and co.
The enigmatic South African has made 1176 runs in just 36 innings at a blistering strike-rate of 141.1 and boosts an already powerful England middle order.
As this is the final game of New Zealand’s epic tour which started in early May, many of the Kiwi’s will already have one eye on the long flight home rather than this meaningless clash. Get on them to fold meekly and take England at 8/11.
Other markets worth a look include the ‘Most Sixes’ option. Both sides are available at 5/6, but a quick comparison of their top seven’s, make Eoin Morgan’s men eminently more backable in this department especially with the return of KP.
Another interesting angle is Boyd Rankin available at 8/15 to take one or more wickets. The 6’7” Irishman is still a relatively unknown quantity to the Kiwis and should be a real handful on the hard Oval wicket as evidenced by his impressive debut on Tuesday evening.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing