SKY SPORTS’ Joe Drabble (@Joe_Drabble) shares his views on the Cricket World Cup final between Australia and New Zealand on Sunday morning.
Australia v New Zealand | Sunday 03.30 | Sky Sports 3
After six weeks and 48 matches we have been left with the World Cup final many wanted… and expected.
An Australia v New Zealand finale was 10/1 at the start of the tournament (congrats to those who backed it – I didn't!) and Australia are now heavy 4/9 favourites to lift their fifth World Cup title in Melbourne.
When you see the stats it's easy to see why; Australia have won 24 of the last 26 completed ODIs on home soil, their last six at the MCG and they have a 14-4 head-to-head record against the Black Caps at the famous Melbourne venue.
I was on the Aussies at 2/1 pre-tournament and I'm sitting pretty on that right now. It would be cherlish to completely disregard the plucky New Zealanders, though, and they remain the only unbeaten team in the tournament and will fancy an upset having beaten the Aussies earlier in the tournament and also winning on on their last visit to the ‘G'.
Hopefully you were on the antepost Australia outright at 2/1 but if you weren't, I'd still take the 4/9 here with 888 Sport.
The match will be Michael Clarke’s last in a coloured shirt for Australia after he announced his ODI retirement on the eve of the match. For those (like me) who believe in fairytale endings, he’s 11/1 (SkyBet) to be Top Batsman and 18/1 (Betway) for Man of the Match.
There is some theory as well as sentiment to Clarke, though. The Australia middle-order (Clarke, Glenn Maxwell, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin) averages 42.61 between them against New Zealand, while the top three (Aaron Finch, David Warner & Steve Smith) average just over 12.
With New Zealand’s new-ball threat, I’d be inclined to back a batsman in the middle order and Clarke, at a price like 11/1 (SkyBet), is worth the gamble.
One man who loves the MCG is Aussie opener Finch. He averages 65.61 at the ground with 135, 96, 22, and 121 his last four scores there. With these numbers in mind take the 5/6 on him scoring Over 26.5 runs with Betfred.
In the bowling stakes, left-armers Mitchell Starc and Trent Boult are battling it out to finish as the leading wicket-taker in the competition. Boult (21) currently leads by one but I fancy Starc to come storming back to win tomorrow.
He ripped through the New Zealanders in Auckland earlier in the competition with six wickets and I am more than happy to take the 5/1 (Paddy Power) for him to be Top Bowler in the match.
Australia v New Zealand – Australia to win (4/9 888 Sport)
Australia v New Zealand – Aaron Finch Over 26.5 Runs (5/6 Betfred)
Australia v New Zealand – Michael Clarke Top Batsman (11/1 SkyBet)
Australia v New Zealand – Michael Clarke Man of the Match (18/1 Betway)
Australia v New Zealand – Mitchell Starc Top Bowler (5/1 Paddy Power)
Money Back If Match Decided In Final Over
888 Sport will refund losing pre-match and in:play Match Winner bets if the match is decided in the final over.