By Josh Powell | The Ashes 2013
It was squeaky bum-time on Sunday morning but a little bit of James Anderson magic meant England won the opening test by 14 runs. Ashton Agar’s best efforts weren’t good enough but the 19-year-old’s 98 in the first innings won’t be forgotten in a hurry. Throw in some Stuart Broad controversy and a generous helping of dodgy umpiring, and it was, in all, a brilliant way to kick-start the series.
Here’s how the first test changed the biggest outright markets ahead of the second clash at Lord’s.
A massive 90 per cent of punters’ money has gone on to the red-hot favourites England. The patriotic pennies look like a good investment after the first test and the three lions are now just 1/6 to win the Ashes. The hosts opened up at 8/15 and sank to 2/5 before Trent Bridge, but a first test lead and a bit more cash has seen their price go shorter than a ****.
Nobody wants to go near the Australians – in a betting sense. Obviously if we had the chance to wine and dine Kylie Minogue we probably wouldn’t say no. The Aussies were 7/2 this time last week, but despite Ashton Agar’s best efforts, the tourists have drifted to 17/2.
Series correct score
England’s victory in the first test is great news for punters who backed the 5-0 scoreline. Before the opening match 27 per cent of the book was taken up with punters backing the whitewash and those smart gamblers benefited from the price of 11/1. The 5-0 scoreline is into 13/2 now with England expected to step up their game and give the Australian’s a long overdue 5-0 spanking.
However there has been a significant shift in the betting with England 3-1 Australia becoming the most popular selection. Just under a quarter of all bets are now on this scoreline with punters obviously impressed with Australia’s opening performance. Impressed to the point where they think the Aussies might nick a consolation test, rather than impressed to the point where they thought the baggy green caps might win.
Five punters have shown off the size of their manhood by backing Australia to win the remaining four tests at 100/1. That is some serious
Australian top run scorer
Michael Clarke was the main man ahead of the opening test. All the money was piling in for him to be Australia’s top runscorer and he was as short as 2/1. Unfortunately, a lot like Kerry Katona’s singing career, things didn’t quite go to plan. Clarke was out for just a combined total of 23 runs after the first test but is somehow still the 10/3 favourite.
The traders are still worried about him and opener Shane Watson who is into 7/2. He knocked up a combined total of 59 runs in the opening test, finding 11 boundaries.
Ashton Agar propelled himself into Ashes history at Trent Bridge, breaking records, worrying English fans and hitting 112 off 172 balls including a stand of 98 in the opening innings. Despite his heroics he has generated as much interest of Paddy Power punters as The Coronas latest single, and is 18/1 in the betting.
English top run scorer
Beofre the opening test punters find themselves split between Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen. But now everything has changed.
Ian Bell and Jonathon Trott are receiving all the attention as punters latch on to some huge hitting at Trent Bridge. Bell wasn’t messing around with the willow in hand, and a second innings century gave him a combined total of 134 for the first test. The traders didn’t mess about slicing his price from 13/2 to 9/4 favourite.
Despite going for a duck in the second innings Trott’s 48 on the opening day has generated a few punts and he is now the best backed in Paddy’s book.
Top series wicket taker
James Anderson’s heroics with the ball won the opening test for England and you’d be a brave man to lay him here.
His ten wicket haul swung the match in England’s favour as he conceded just 158 runs and bowled 13 maidens. Unsurprisingly he has been cut from 7/2 to 11/8 as he eyes up more wickets at Lord’s.