The Dubai Sports City Cricket Stadium holds the key to the two-match Twenty20 International series between regional rivals Pakistan and Sri Lanka because the home away from home of the Pakistanis is famous for its low scores.
Remarkably for a ground in a country that does not boast a top-tier cricket side, the Dubai Sports City Cricket Stadium has staged 27 Twenty20 Internationals games since its first one in May 2009 and there have been only nine team scores greater than 150 runs. Nine out of 54 innings is one in six, while only seven matches have had at least one side score greater than 150 runs. At a competitive level of cricket, 150 runs is a par score for a Twenty20 International team.
And it is not just Twenty20 International games at the Dubai Sports City Cricket Stadium that are low scoring. One can say the same about One Day International matches at the United Arab Emirates facility, while four of the five Test games there have produced results other than draws, helped in so small way by two first-innings totals of 99 runs.
With Pakistan and Sri Lanka so evenly matched it is easy to understand why bookmakers are having a tough time splitting them in their betting markets on both the First Twenty20 International and the two-match series. Pakistan regained some of its confidence towards the tail end of its South Africa tour and Sri Lanka, the world’s number-one ranked Twenty20 International side, is sacrificing its Test results to remain a superpower in the two limited-overs formats.
So rather than back either Pakistan or Sri Lanka at around the even-money mark – the Pakistanis are available at odds of 1.91 with William Hill, while the Sri Lankans are trading at odds of 2.00 with, among others, Bet365, Coral and Unibet – betting against First Twenty20 International runs in exotic markets looks like the most sensible approach to take.
Perhaps the most attractive play is a punt on top individual score by either a Pakistan or Sri Lanka batsman being 55 runs to 70 runs inclusive at odds of 2.38 with Stan James.
Initially, one was interested in betting on no batsman from either Pakistan or Sri Lanka scoring an individual half century in the First Twenty20 International. However, one’s research found that the odds of 2.70 that Unibet are offering about someone scoring 50 or runs on their own were spot on. Ten of the 27 Twenty20 International games at the Dubai Sports City Cricket Stadium have featured at least one individual half century, which equates to odds of 2.70. The good news is that one’s exhaustive research threw up a bet that does have a clear statistical edge.
In 14 of the 27 Twenty20 International matches at the Dubai Sports City Cricket Stadium the top individual score has been higher than 54 runs and lower than 71 runs. And if only counts the Twenty20 International games at the Dubai Sports City Cricket Stadium between top-tier teams, the incidence increases to eight out of 12. Fourteen out of 27 equates to odds of 1.93 and eight of 12 equates to odds of 1.50. Whichever way one cuts up the numbers, there is a strong case for taking the odds of 2.38 with Stan James.
If one wants to bet on the headline result of the First Twenty20 International between Pakistan and Sri Lanka then one should know that the sides have met 10 times and that the Pakistanis lead the Sri Lankans 6-4. Also, the only time that Pakistan and Sri Lanka have competed against each other in a Twenty20 International match in the United Arab Emirates, the Pakistanis prevailed by five wickets.
Once or twice per month we will provide you with the latest sports tips and keep you updated about the biggest events.