Cricket: Stunning Stokes…

The World Cup continues today with a fascinating clash between England and Australia at Lord’s.

The hosts will be keen to get their campaign back on track after last week’s surprise loss to Sri Lanka. But they now have to face an Australian side which has started the tournament strongly.

England have been handicapped by the injury to regular opener Jason Roy. James Vince, his replacement, has not yet produced and now has to face the Aussie fast bowling attack. With Jonny Bairstow, England’s other opener, seemingly having difficulty surviving ball one, it’s likely the middle order could be exposed early.

That presents two opportunities. Firstly, plenty of time for Joe Root, England’s best batsman who is in prime form, to score runs, or an early batting collapse which will provide the chance for a lower order player to top the runs chart.

Root is around 3/1 to be England’s leading runs scorer this match, or an enhanced 9/2 to score a ton with Paddy Power. But we were taken with the way Ben Stokes played in the losing cause against Sri Lanka. He’s 8/1 to be his team’s top scorer, and we think this is a fair price.

However, we also appreciate his all round abilities and his combative nature when the chips are down – England really need to win this game – and thus we like the 14/1 available for him to be named man of the match.

Recommendations:

Stokes to be man of the match, 1 pt, at 14/1, widely available

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