England can pass Lord's Test at 9-4

SPORTS BETTING

"We're all cynics here," one of William Hill's odds compilers said yesterday morning, and a glance at their prices for the second Ashes Test, which begins at Lord's on Thursday, demonstrates why.

Despite England's crushing success in the opening match of the series, a doubling of their advantage in the series is the outsider of the three possible outcomes at 9-4, with a morale-boosting victory for Australia just 7-4. The clear favourite, however, is the draw, at 6-5.

Clearly, Hills expect the Australian batsmen to maintain the form of their second innings at Edgbaston, rather than revert to their abject display in the first.

But, even then, it seems incredible that the tourists are rated more likely winners than the hosts, not least when England remain even-money favourites with the same firm to win back the Ashes.

Ladbrokes, by contrast, while also making the draw their 6-5 favourite, offer 7-4 against England and 5-2 against Australia, which seems a much more reasonable view.

Once that astonishing first session in Birmingham was out of the way, the two teams were fairly well-matched, but it should pay to remember that England not only started the match by landing a solid psychological uppercut, but also rounded things off the same way, when making very short and professional work of reaching their victory target.

It has been a long time since an England team displayed a killer instinct but, now it has been rediscovered, there must be every chance that Michael Atherton's men will snatch what would probably prove to be an unassailable lead in the series.

That they are 9-4 (the price is also available with Coral) to do so should make the experience all the more satisfying. And, with the best-price betting on the series showing an over-round (profit margin for the bookmakers) of less than one per cent, the evens about England winning the Ashes may also find plenty of takers.

SECOND TEST (Lord's, starts Thursday): Best prices: 5-4 the draw (C), 9-4 England (H, C), 5-2 Australia (L). Ashes series: Evens England (H, C), 5-2 Australia (L), 7-2 drawn series (L).

Top England batsman (Coral): 3-1 Stewart, 100-30 Thorpe, 7-2 Atherton, 4-1 Hussain, 7-1 Crawley, Butcher, 12-1 A Hollioake, 20-1 Ealham, 40-1 Croft, 80-1 Gough, 100-1 Caddick, 200-1 Tufnell, 250-1 Malcolm.

SOUTH AFRICA v BRITISH LIONS SERIES: (Three-Test series starts Saturday): Coral: 2-7 South Africa, 5-2 British Lions, 33-1 drawn series.

C - Coral, H - William Hill, L - Ladbrokes.

Suggested Topics
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint kiss in Doctor Who episode 'Deep Breath'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Danish director Lars von Trier
tvEnglish-language series with 'huge' international cast set for 2016
Life and Style
tech
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

HR Generalist (standalone) - Tunbridge Wells - £32,000

£30000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Generalist (standalone) - Tunbrid...

Year 3 Teacher Plymouth

£23500 - £40000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: Year 3 Primary Teacher...

Junior Software Developer - Newcastle, Tyne & Wear - £30,000

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Junior Web Developer / J...

Systems Administrator (SharePoint) - Central London - £36,500

£35000 - £36500 per annum: Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator (SharePoint) -...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering