A really exotic bet is the way to play in the Third One Day International between Pakistan and Sri Lanka as the Asian teams meet in the decider at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
The series is level at 1-1 after Sri Lanka won the Second One Day International at the Dubai Sports City Cricket Stadium by two wickets, reaching its 285-run target with only two balls remaining. Pakistan had won the First One Day International by 11 runs and, while the Pakistanis were good value for a slightly wider margin than that, the reality is that there is very little to choose between the sides.
Most bookmakers are favouring Sri Lanka to win the Third One Day International and that does not make sense. Pakistan won the First One Day International at the same venue and, when all is said and done, the Pakistanis have a superior record to Sri Lanka in the neutral United Arab Emirates. Pakistan has a 62 per cent win rate in the United Arab Emirates and Sri Lanka has a 38 per cent win rate in the desert nation.
Pakistan at odds of 2.02 with Bwin is the Third One Day International bet if one wants to punt on the match result but there is a more inviting play on the exotic market regarding the total number of run outs in the game.
William Hill are offering odds of 2.75 that the Third One Day International goes over one and a half run outs. Neither Pakistan nor Sri Lanka is great at running between the wickets and the statistics from their recent matches point to be a bet on the over at odds against.
Three of the dozen wickets that fell in the Second One Day International were the result of run outs. Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mohammed Hafeez and Kusal Perera were dismissed because they did not make their ground in time. And the First One Day International featured three run outs as well, with Dinesh Chandimal, Lasith Malinga and Sohaib Maqsood being the victims of bad running and good fielding.
Incredibly, there has been at least two run outs in each of the last four One Day International matches between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. And if one tallies up all the run outs in the 12 completed One Day International games between the sides since 2011, the total is 20 and the one-and-a-half line has been surpassed six times. Whichever way one cuts up those numbers, there is a strong argument for backing over one and a half run outs in the Third One Day International at odds of 2.75. It looks like it should be an even-money bet.
Finally, it is well worth reprising Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal’s excellent statistics at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium for those punters who like betting on top bowler markets. In the last 10 years Pakistan has participated in half a dozen One Day International matches against top-tier teams at the venue and Ajmal, who has played in all of them, has been the top Pakistani wicket taker on four occasions. Furthermore, Ajmal starred for Pakistan with the ball when it played South Africa in Sharjah earlier this year, taking four wickets in one game and three wickets in the other.
Ajmal is trading at odds of 3.50 with William Hill to be the top Pakistan bowler in the Third One Day International. The history books suggest that Ajmal should be a shorter price.
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