Thursday, 3 February 2011

Hamilton

Here are a few things to watch for in Hamilton:

1. The toss. There have only been 5 times that the team that won the toss at Hamilton lost the game. 4 of those were when the team that won the toss chose to bat. It is normally a bowl first pitch.

2. Brendan McCullum. He is the king of Hamilton, averaging 90 at a strike rate of 102 there. However, very few players have played many ODI innings there, so there is not a large sample of players with reliable figures.

3. Openening Batsmen. Despite Mathew Hayden saying once that Hamilton was the hardest place in the world to bat, he scored 181* in his only ODI at the ground. Generally it tends to favour aggressive opening batsmen, Ryder and Sehwag also have done well there.

4. 6's. There is an average of 1 6 hit every 41 deliveries at Hamilton (over the last 10 years). This is about 14 per match. This is the most in NZ, which is surprising, as it's one of the largest grounds in NZ. (it's also the ground where Andre Adams won a game for Auckland, despite needing 12 off the last delivery. He hit a 6 off a no ball, then a 6 off the next ball)

5. Swing bowling. The bowlers that have done the best at this ground are swing bowlers. (and Andre Adams) Johnson, Mills, Tuffey and Martin all have good records here. Look for Mills, Southee, Umar Gul and Sohail Tanvir to all be amongst the wickets. (especially in the humid post-cyclonic conditions)

6. Lots of runs and wickets. This ground normally provides a fair contest between bat and ball, where batsmen get full value for aggressive shots, but bowlers get reward by bowling an attacking line. That makes it pretty much the perfect cricket ground. Interestingly when the ground plays badly the team that bats first tends to win more often. There is only twice that a team has won after scoring more than 225 batting first.

Betting suggestions: (Bet365 isn't cooperating today, so odds are from tab.co.nz)

1. More than 10.5 6's in the match, $1.85
2. Brendan McCullum to be top innings scorer, $7.00
3. Ryder more than 24.5, $1.90
4. New Zealand to win (after winning the toss and bowling), $1.75

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