SKY Cricket expert Joe Drabble (@Joe_Drabs) talks us through the best bets from the opening night of Cricket World Cup action from Down Under.
The glitz and glamour of Twenty20 cricket takes a back seat for the next seven weeks as the 50-over Cricket World Cup kicks-off in Christchurch on Friday night. It's not for the faint hearted and we're going to need some good punts to get us through the unsociable hours.
I'll be bringing you daily tips throughout the competition but you can read my outright views here. Anyway, here's what we've got for the opening day:
New Zealand v Sri Lanka | Friday 22.00 | Sky Sports 2
Let's keep it simple with a sure-fire double to build-up the coffers for the week ahead. Kicking-off the competition in Christchurch are the in-form Black Caps, who harbour serious hopes of going all the way in this competition.
Pretty much all of their players are in form, while Sri Lanka look a side in decline, despite the obvious threats of Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene, Lasith Malinga and Kumar Sangakkara.
Buoyed by a 4-2 series win over Sri Lanka last month, not to mention Tuesday's thrashing of South Africa in a warm-up game, we can back the Kiwis to get off to a winning start with confidence.
Australia v England | Saturday 03.30 | Sky Sports 2
After the Men In Black do their bit, we can then watch on with mixed emotions as Australia hand England another cricketing lesson at the MCG. The Aussies start as tournament favourites and will have the majority of a 90,000 strong crowd roaring them on against their old enemy.
Australia have a great record at Melbourne, winning seven of their last ODIs there, while England have prevailed just once in their last seven against Aus down by the Yarra River.
Big-hitting Aussie opener Aaron Finch loves his home ground and after scores of 96 & 61 in his last two knocks there, I'll also be having a dabble on him for Top Batsman at 7/1 with 888Sport.
New Zealand and Australia win double (1/1 William Hill)
Is Joe right to think England will get off to a losing start at the MCG? Could Sri Lanka upset New Zealand?
We’d love to hear what you’re backing on the opening night of the Cricket World Cup so let us know in the comments box below!