Stan Hey: 6-5 Against
Saturday 25 July 2009
We are only two Tests into the Ashes series but already there's a compelling tapestry being stitched across the summer, detailing the thrust and counter-thrust of the teams; the fall of champions; the rise of unexpected heroes.
And if there's a King Harold in view, it must represent the one-eyed decisions of umpires that have favoured England – not that we care.
The next Test at Edgbaston isn't until Thursday, but I'd take the worst seat in the ground ahead of "Glorious Goodwood" or being Ryanaired to Galway's Festival. The match hinges on the fitness of Brett Lee and Andrew Flintoff. Australia needs Lee's toe-crushing yorkers to do the damage that Mitchell Johnson has not delivered, while England without Flintoff will be light on bite.
The bookies reacted strongly to Kevin Pietersen's absence, making Australia 15-8 (Stan James) for this Test, fearing that Ian Bell, a "bunny" for the Aussie bowlers, won't shore up England's middle order. England are 4-1 (bet365), extraordinary after a crushing win. Time to play safe – £20 win, 11-10 generally, on a draw.
Hampshire and Sussex fill the void in the Friends Provident Trophy final at Lord's today. Sussex are favourites (5-6 Paddy Power) but Hampshire have shed their "gin and Jag" image and could prevail – £10 win, at evens, Totesport. Today's other bet is £10 on Roaring Forte (11-2 Totesport) in Ascot's Abu Dhabi International.
*The Open ended as Theatre of Cruelty with so many hopes dashed, most notably Tom Watson's. His play-off defeat was heart-breaking but also launched a wave of bad puns – "Cink in the Armour" anyone?
Latest in Sport
Manchester United injury news: Angel Di Maria unlikely to face Spurs as Marouane Fellaini's 'mystery illness' turns out to be rib injury
Arsenal vs QPR player ratings: Could anyone outshine new Gunners hero Alexis Sanchez and who was worse than villain Olivier Giroud?
Manchester City team news: Manuel Pellegrini hopes to have Vincent Kompany back for Burnley visit but hopes not to risk Stevan Jovetic
Neil Warnock sacked: Tim Sherwood fits role for Crystal Palace
Arsenal injury news: Laurent Koscielny could return but Olivier Giroud suspended for trip to West Ham
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...
£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have previous experience...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...