The Guerilla Guide to Filthy Lucre

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England vs South Africa 2nd Test, Trent Bridge, July 14th–18th

I'm on a roll. Fresh from tipping Dawid Malan as Middlesex's top bat in yesterday's T20 to my friend Dec and his mates, I bring you a couple of bets for the Trent Bridge Test.

Horses for courses is a decent tack to take and, in Jimmy Anderson, we have the perfect horse for the perfect course. He loves playing in Nottingham and takes his Test wickets there at a shade over 19 a-piece. There's likely to be a little cloud around this morning so if England win the toss, there's even more chance the Burnley Express could feast heartily on the South African batters. I see no reason not to back him at around 3/1 (you might get 7/2 if you sniff around) to be England's top bowler in the first innings.

Quinton de Kock played a scintillating little knock in the first innings at Lord's, hitting ten fours in his 37-ball 51. He looks like a bit of value to emerge as his side's top first-innings batsman at 11/2. If Anderson and co have ripped apart the top order, it might be that de Kock can steady the ship with some much needed middle-order runs.

Finally, don't over-complicate matters. England are heavy favourites for the game and should win at a canter. Trent Bridge has been a bit of a fortress for the home side, as a record of six wins and a draw from the last seven games there proves. The 8/13 price may look skinny but it really isn't. Particularly when you consider the South African bowling attack has been shorn of the suspended Rabada (who really must learn to stop saying things out loud and brushing the shoulders of opponents as he passes by).

Happy Trent Bridge, everyone. And may the gambling gods smile on you, as opposed to laughing in your faces.

Recommended bets

Anderson to be England's top bowler (1st innings) 5 pts 3/1

de Kock to be SA's top batsman (1st innings) 3pts 11/2

England to win the match 10pts 8/13


ENG v SA Test Series

England vs South Africa Test series July 6th – August 8th

For the love of John Arlott, it's back! Here at Guerilla Towers, we've been feeding off the dustbin scraps and half-eaten pizza of the one-day game for too long. Now, at last, the sumptuous seven-course meal that is Test cricket awaits. After seven months of fast food, we get to feast once more. Pass the Chablis.

It's hard to imagine a more lip-smacking opponent than South Africa to break our fast. There have been some cracking encounters between the two sides over the last twenty-five years – both teams have won the previous series in the other's back yard – and this one promises to be a belter too.

As we rejoice in the slow burn, the twists and turns of the five-day game, we might also be thinking, "How can I make a few quid here?" Well, here are some humble suggestions.

Let's start with what I like to call 'the bleeding obvious'. Hashim Amla and Joe Root are among the top handful of batsmen in the world. Amla loves playing England and will have fond memories of becoming his country's first triple-centurion back in 2012. Root, meanwhile, will be absolutely champing at the bit to make his mark as skipper. Both are their team's batting talismans and it's my belief they'll each score a barrel-load of runs. Back them to be their side's top scorers over the series.

On the bowling front, I'd like to give the exciting left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj a shout. He's played just seven Tests but has plundered 26 wickets already, including a match-winning 6-40 against New Zealand in Wellington. If you can take wickets as a spinner in Wellington, you can pretty much take them anywhere. In addition, the wickets at Lord's (possibly), the Oval and Old Trafford (probably) may well be spin-friendly. The lad is worth a few quid to be his side's top wicket-taker.

For England, Mark Wood has returned from injury looking fitter, more rhythmic and more aggressive than ever. The ball with which he dismissed Kane Williamson in the Champions' Trophy will live long in the memory. This could be a big breakthrough summer for Wood, especially with the elder statesmen Broad and Anderson struggling for fitness in recent times, and I think the Durham man can make himself England's premier strike bowler.

Finally, a series bet. It'll be close, I reckon, as it often is between these two rivals. And while I respect South Africa – particularly the bowling attack of Rabada, Morkel, Philander and Maharaj – I fancy England to shade a closely-fought series 2-1.

Happy eating, everyone. Feel free to gorge yourself silly.

Recommended bets

Hashim Amla to be top South Africa run scorer 5 pts at 5/2

Joe Root to be top England run scorer 5 pts at 9/4

Keshav Maharaj to be top South African wicket taker 3 pts at 5/1

Mark Wood to be top England wicket taker 3 pts at 4/1

England to win the series 2-1 4 pts at 9/2


ENG v SA 1st Test

I'm really looking forward to another thrilling series of...Test matches? Wait, what? Are they still a thing? The incessant contextless friendlies where it's super boring 95% of the time but the other 5% people wake up and go "aren't these brilliant"? Marvellous.

Well, if all the rollercoaster action of 3 runs an over, draws and Gary Ballance isn't enough for you, we could spice it up with a bet or two. England's selection looks a bit odd to me, I can't understand Dawson being in the squad even if he doesn't play, and Ballance, really? Maybe ease Joe Root into the captaincy before you let him pick the whole team. South Africa also have a stand in captain of course, Dean Elgar taking the reins while du Plessis is understandably staying with his family for the moment. You might have had a pretty price for Elgar as a future captain during his stellar series of ducks at the start of his international career, but fair play to him for overcoming that. AB is also out but frankly that seems a bonus considering his recent form.

I don't know a lot* about South Africa's debutants in this match (*anything) ; I tried to read a preview but when it described London as "the upper edges of the Northern Hemisphere" I gave up. What the heck though, England have a notoriously poor record at Lords over the years and based on that alone I quite like South Africa Draw No Bet at 2.75 (7/4) . Money back for a draw (the clue is in the name) and I think that's a decent price.I'm going to hedge that just a little bit though with a bet on Alistair Cook to score a hundred in the match at 4.0 (3/1). Cook has been scoring runs for fun for Essex this season, and could be set for a big one in his first match back in the ranks.

I like Paul's series bets, definitely Amla and Root as highest runscorers over the series. Pile in to those, so I'm going to stick with the match-by-match bets myself. There isn't too much else grabbing my attention at the moment, and to be serious for about the first time in this preview, we should never bet just for the sake of it. So I'm going with those two for now, enjoy!

Recommended bets

South Africa 1st Test (Draw No Bet) - 10 pts @ 2.75

Alistair Cook Hundred in the 1st Test - 6 pts @ 4.0

All prices correct at time of writing.

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