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England in last-chance saloon

England in last-chance saloon


England simply have to win – and win well – against New Zealand in Hamilton on Sunday if they are to reach the final of the Trans-Tasman T20 series.

Having lost all three games so far, the Three Lions have to be thankful to Australia for keeping their hopes alive by chasing down a record score against the Black Caps earlier in the week.

Now all eyes are on Seddon Park where the hosts have won six of the previous seven T20 internationals played at the venue.

Opener Martin Guptill, who blasted a superb century against the Aussies to become the leading runscorer in T20 international cricket, has plenty of previous in Hamilton and at 3/1 to be top team batsman still offers some value.

His previous knocks in T20 internationals at the ground are 44, 47, 47 and 87 not out. His Test-best 189 against Bangladesh also came at Seddon Park.

He and Colin Munro at the top of the order will be crucial to New Zealand’s hopes of eliminating England, with the latter also 3/1 to be top team batsman.

With the ball, the Black Caps are likely to come under fire, with England knowing they have to reverse a negative run-rate to progress and, with that in mind, the leg-spin of Ish Sodhi may come to the fore.

He is 33/10 to be top team bowler while his England counterpart, Adil Rashid, is 3/1 for his side.

England’s seamers have struggled to make their mark in the series to date but David Willey has chipped in at times and, at 7/2 to be top team bowler, he has some merit.

With the bat, a unit which worked so well in the recent ODIs has failed to fire, with only Dawid Malan impressing in making two half-centuries in three innings.

He is 4/1 to be top team batsman while Jos Buttler (also 4/1) is surely due some runs after not getting going to date.

In the outright market the hosts are 5/6 to win the game in Hamilton, with England also 5/6, showing there is not much to choose between the two sides.

As always in T20 cricket it will come down to one good performance to change the game, with Australia watching on contentedly after sailing through to the tournament finale already.

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Adrian Mills Adrian has enjoyed a journalistic career spanning over three decades, with cricket his specialised topic. He also has a wealth of knowledge on football, golf and tennis and has the stats to back up his betting advice.