For that reason, we’ve gone straight to the runscorer markets, which offer long-odds chances on outcomes that don’t necessarily seem improbable. Particularly attractive in this case is the Top Team A/B runscorer market, as part of which you’ll get 22/1 on David Warner and Jonny Bairstow to top score for their teams.
That seems liberal. Englishman Bairstow has just cracked two tons on the bounce, while reformed Aussie firebrand Warner has a pair of hundreds to his name so far in this tournament, including one in the quarter-finals against South Africa. Both open the batting and both are in form. Some of you might prefer the 16/1 Warner/Roy option, but we fancy Jonny to top England’s entries on the scorecard.
We’ve already covered the Top Team A Runscorer portion of this double, so we’ll move straight on to why we think Mitchell Starc will end up as Australia’s top wicket taker on Thursday.
In truth, the argument is quite simple. His bowling figures over his past five matches read: 2-59, 5-26, 4-43, 2-55 and 4-55. On three of those occasions, Starc was the outright top wicket taker for the Aussies.
Barring a bad day against India, the giant fast bowler has been in outstanding form, and you’d have to think he’ll raise his game even further when faced with a lineup of Pom batsmen. There’s no-one more likely in the Australian attack to do the business for this market.
Again, we’ve already stated the case for Mr Warner, who’s very much front and centre in our best bets picks, so we’ll skip onto his former partner in sandpaper-related crime, Steve Smith.
Smith is as reliable as a weather forecast predicting sunshine in Alice Springs, and has bagged three fifties so far in the tournament. More importantly, he tends to step up to the mark when things get tough – and it doesn’t get any tougher than playing England on their own patch in a World Cup semi-final.
Smith hasn’t set the World Cup alight, but if there’s one man in the competition who you’d want to back to score a half-century, it’s him. What’s more, this particular double has been enhanced from 11/4 to a very palatable 7/2, so we’ll definitely take that. Thanks Paddy.