STAR PREVIEW: England v New Zealand with RYAN SIDEBOTTOM

We’re rapidly approaching the business end of the Cricket World Cup and England take on New Zealand at Chester-Le-Street on Wednesday in the game of the tournament so far for me. Can’t wait to watch it live.

The permutation is easy enough, if England win they’ll seal a place in the semi-finals but if they lose, then they rely on results elsewhere to go their way.

If England were to lose and Pakistan go on to beat Bangladesh on Friday – it’s all over for Eoin Morgan’s men.

Thoughts on the game in a mo, but I’m still kicking myself about the Star Sports Greyhound Derby. I remember Susan Hennessy asking for trap 3 when I did the draw at the Ritz and sure enough I pulled that one out the hat when her Priceless Blake was 12/1. To watch him scoot home (at 6/1) without a penny on was, let’s put this politely, chastening.

Looking forward to watching the Lionesses take on USA in the Women’s World Cup tonight and if they can get past the defending champions I honestly believe they’ll go on and win it. Fingers crossed.

Back to the cricket and although England were my pre-tournament idea of the winners, it’s been far from easy for them with unexpected defeats against Sri Lanka and Australia which placed a rather large blot on their copybook.

England have bounced back well though and a 31-run win over India at Edgbaston on Sunday is top class form given how well India are playing.

I was at Chester-Le-Street yesterday for Sri Lanka v West Indies and my other half Maddie was well chuffed at getting a photo of Rhianna who looked to be enjoying the action.

I’m not so worried about rain stopping play at Chester-Le-Street but am hoping there’ll be no recurrence of BSP (Bees Stopped Play) after a swarm of bees caused problems here in the Sri Lanka v South Africa match flooring both players and umpires. Just when you thought you’ve seen everything….

Don’t forget it’s a massive game too for New Zealand as they need the win to secure their own progression. They are as short as 7/1 with starsports.bet to lift the trophy thanks to their work earlier in the competition. The Black Caps were undefeated in their first six matches but successive defeats against Pakistan and Australia have highlighted a weakness in their batting which England will be keen to exploit.

Bowling wise, my mate Liam Plunkett looks good to be top wicket taker. Basically when he plays, England wins and he’s just so good in the middle overs.

I think there will be plenty of runs. The Riverside isn’t the biggest of grounds and they often bring the boundaries in, so I want to be over 10.5 match sixes at 20/21.

In terms of top runscorers I think the market has it pretty much spot on with Joe Root (11/4) and Kane Williamson (5/2) to lead their respective charges.

RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)
BACK OVER 10.5 MATCH SIXES 5 pts at 20/21 with starsports.bet
BACK LIAM PLUNKETT TOP ENGLAND WICKET TAKER 3 pts at 4/1 with starsports.bet
BACK JOE ROOT TOP ENGLAND RUN SCORER 3 pts at 11/4 with starsports.bet
BACK KANE WILLIAMSON TOP NEW ZEALAND RUN SCORER 3 pts at 5/2 with starsports.bet


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