Thursday, 27 June 2013

2nd T20 - England v N.Zealand - Oval


I don't like to be negative .. Honestly, and went to this game, despite not having a ticket.

I got there at a few minutes past start time, having studied the weather patterns all day, and though play, was at the best, 'iffy' , and most likely, would be severely interrupted.

I got there, (having been given a ticket), to see I had missed all the action - such as it was .. 2 balls, and England were 0-1.

Then, light drizzle forced the players to leave, and despite some efforts from all concerned, play never resumed.

In my view, they went off, a fraction early, but, that was unlucky.

I could not really fault the Oval .. They tried, but, where once again, they were poor, was in communication to the Public.

The PA system, is just impossible to hear, at least in the OCS stand .. And I asked 6 people on the tube after, where they sat, and if they could hear the PA, and all said, No.

Is it so hard, for them to actually improve this .. They have done well in most other areas ..


Friends Life T20 - Hampshire v Surrey - Ageas Bowl, Southampton

The domestic T20 tournament starts in the UK, and it will no doubt be as frenetic as ever.

The exchange markets have become more robust, with institutional money, now mixing with the gamblers.

Mr Lumpy traditionally likes to back the side batting second, and almost falls over himself at times, wanting to get matched, in a size the market cannot accommodate.

It's all v well, matching him, when the price is wrong, but, it tends to stay wrong, far longer than it should, and rarely leaves u a good exit point. This makes life v hard, and liquidity can at times suffer.

This yr, I am going to stagger my entry points, far greater, with only a token interest, in the early stages.

Tonite, Hampshire have Carberry, who is definately in the running for an England spot, of some sorts, and Surrey look well below par, with Ponting missing due to injury, and Pietersen on England duty.

Hampshire are traditionally v strong at home, and in the last 5 yrs, Surrey typically only make 140 or so, which is rarely enough.

3 hrs before the game :


Hampshire 1.90

Surrey. 2.10

Hampshire won the toss, elected to field, and Lumpy got with Hampshire. A fair start by Surrey, didn't really dent his enthusiasm, and they were just starting to look like favs, when the 2nd wkt fell. Unfortunately, for Surrey, the next 6 overs, had little momentum, and they tossed away a decent start, of 70-1 after 10, to a final score of 139.

It's always easy to look back, but Roy was out, when Surrey were 31-0, and Solanki when Surrey were 64-2, at both points, the Surrey price seemed fair, but, it gapped down, huge, on a wicket, so, I am starting to respect Mr Lumpys play.

It didn't look enough, and although the winning margin of 3 balls looks like its close, Hampshire were never really in danger. The Hampshire captain, Mckenzie, excels at pushing the ball around, and a small chase, is right up his alley. He got a decent 60, and is a seasoned professional.

I am going to try and keep a record, of how lumpy goes on each game .. So far ..

Lumpy 1-0


Monday, 24 June 2013

Champions Trophy Final - India v England - Edgbaston

We know if it's Edgbaston, it's gonna be wet, and we weren't disappointed.

The completed match market, traded over £10 million, which is a decent sum.

I was v heavily involved in these markets, and posted on twitter, my book, at a certain point .. it was a nice picture.

The book was heavily influenced with the theory, the ICC would change the rules .. just a guess, but, it made sense .. and it paid off.

In their wisdom, the ICC couldn't find space in the schedule, to allow reserve days, for either the semi-finals, or the final .. So, when the rain fell, both on the 2nd semi, and the final, the public were left largely wondering, what would happen.

I don't have a problem, specifically, with no reserve day, but, it appears the ICC changed the cut-off times, at least for the final .. And, this was never communicated to the paying public .. Till way past 4pm.

I saw many people leave their seats, and go home .. And u couldn't blame them .. As, they judged they were being taken for complete fools, by staying .. Which Edgbaston, has a history for.

All the ICC are doing, is alienating the public .. I suppose they don't care, it's all about TV revenue, but, u can only get away with so much.

In the game itself, you saw just how important momentum is .. I think Bell losing his wkt, is a 50 over game, last yr, saw the same sort of collapse .. and .. Dhoni is a quite brilliant captain/wikky/batsman.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Royal Ascot etc

This is a mixed gambling blog, and I have spent the last 5 days at Royal Ascot.

I did this, as a bookie in the Silver Ring.

These are my thoughts ...

1. The UK economy is fucked, and people have little disposable income. Racing is fine and good, but, by the time someone has paid between £20-£40 to get in, (even in the Silver Ring), bought an outfit, paid for travel, bought some food/drink, they have v little left, to actually gamble with.

2. This is June .. its supposed to be summer .. where the fuck is it ?

3. The expenses for a bookmaker to bet, are almost prohibitive. To work the 5 days, the costs, even with 3 staff members, are :

Badge fees .. £752 ,, including marketing fee

Extra gate passes for staff .. £125

Staff wages .. 3x£100 per day, x 5 = £1500

Petrol £200

Hotel costs .. u cant drive 200 miles each day .. £800

Food .. £ 80

Rent of Joint .. £125

Wi-fi . £60

Equipment / stationary / wear and tear etc .. + laptops getting drowned .. I wont count.

So, before u have struck a bet, you have had to shell out .. £3700 or so, and that's before u have bought the licence to work .. which in our case, cost £20k.

Over the week, we took £25k, and won £6k gross, £2300 net. That's £2300 for 5 days, of really hard work .. am not sure, its that great, but, I suppose its a job.

Atmosphere was largely jovial, despite a monster fight, that erupted in front on us, on Day 2. Ascot security is only average .. I believe a police presence costs £300 per man per day, and the course management decide not to employ many .. when problems arise, the on-course security, can only do so much.

As a bookie, u have to lug your kit .. normally 2 trolley-loads, from the car-park, to the track. This isn't easy, and its v physically demanding.

After the week, you are shattered .. there are 70-100 bookies in the silver ring, and its v competitive.



Monday, 17 June 2013

Raining again

Been incredibly busy, with phenomenal amounts of driving, and other stuff.

More than a few games affected by rain, and some of the Completed Match Markets (CMM), have been exceptionally panicky ..

One traded over £7m, which, is serious liquidity .. especially when people are only trading off Tv/Radio/Social Media, and Internet weather radar.

Eyes on site .. especially experienced eyes, are worth a lot.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Game 6 - Champions Trophy - India v W.Indies - Oval

Looking forward to this.

Some key match-ups from the IPL, and big players like Gayle/Pollard/Narine/Bravo hoping to step up for the Windies, and an array of stars from India, equally hoping to take part.

The pitch was responsible for a humdinger on Friday, when the Windies only just managed to scrape home, against Pakistan, and it would be great to see another close one.

Dhoni wins the toss for India, and elects to send Windies in.

They scored 232, another interesting score, which would have been much lower, apart from a dynamic 50 from Sammy at the end, only playing due to the enforced rest given to Ramdin.

The pitch was a little two-paced, and if Roach gets a break-thru early, Narine may be able to weave a spell.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Game 4 - Champions Trophy - Sri Lanka v New Zealand - Cardiff

Sri Lanka have a near invincible record against New Zealand, and all the stats say, teams that bat first, lose just about all games in Cardiff.

Sri Lanka win the toss, and decide to bat .. Which most commentators agreed with.

NewZealand do bowl with spirit, and Vettiri back, even 40% fit, is Abigail boost for them, but Sri Lanka had to self-destruct to only score 139.

Wow, what a game.

N.Zealand were going along nicely, at 50-1, but, once 1 goes, nerves can set in, and with Sri Lanka bowling superbly, especially Malinga, they had a decent shot to win.

N.Zealand just got there, thru some vital contributions from the McCullums, with the winning run coming from Mclenagan, making his lifetime ODI scores total, 7. It's unlikely, he will ever score a more important 1 for his country.



Game 5 - South AfrIca v Pakistan - Edgbaston

Amazing atmosphere in the stadium, with 20k people, of which 97% must have been Pakistan supporters, v many with flags.

Steyn did some light warm-ups, but, was never going to play, and its dubious if we shall see him, sometime soon. A great shame.

The contest was billed as the side who can't bowl (S.Africa),v the sideshow can't bat (Pakistan), which is a trifle unfair on S.Africa,but spot -on, re Pakistan.


S.Africa won the toss, and De Villiers decided to bat. It's interesting his, alleged fitness, doesnt seem a worry.

Eng scored a pedestrian 270 on the same ground 2 days ago, and a similar score should be enough for S.Africa to win the game.

Pakistan bowled well, with a couple of chances missed, and finally got to 238, which made it an even game, and gave the home supporters, much to shout about.

Unfortunately, the Pakistan reply was v pedestrian .. Something like 50 off the first 20 overs, 135 off 40, and with a mounting run-rate, lost more wickets, and the game.

Chris Morris is a fun player to watch. (Bowler for SA). I watched a few of his games in the T20 Champions trophy, and he was clearly v nervous, with many wides .. A feature he hasn't as yet, managed to totally eradicate. He got a surprising $650k contract for the IPL, and he is quickly maturing. It was fun to watch his 1st ball called a wide, but equally fun, to see wkts cart-wheeling out the ground, when he hits them. If S.Africa have injury worries with their fast bowlers, he's a v decent alternative.

There are many players you could point the finger at.

Pak now have no pints from 2 games, and its highly unlikely they can progress out of the group.The game at the same stadium on Saturday, v India will have a great atmosphere, whatever .. But, maybe will have a little less intensity for Pakistan, if that's possible.


The tournament as a whole is going fairly well. I do like quick tournaments, thou the travelling between venues, can be tedious. Crowds have been generally v good, and the Crickekeers .. Volunteer helpers, v friendly. Prices are not cheap, especially for food etc at the ground, but tickets are fairly well priced, at about £40 for a decent seat.

Most games involving Pak/India/England are full, and the website selling the tickets, works well, which is a pleasant change. I have seen touts outside grounds, but, it's v hard to police.

The ICC seem overly strict on people using tablets in the ground, with all being asked to put them away, fairly quickly. Anyone who thinks about using a laptop, soon changes his mind, which is fair enough .. It's too busy.


Sunday, 9 June 2013

Game 3 - Champions Trophy - England v Australia - Edgbaston

Prelude to the Ashes, and one to saviour.

No Clarke for Aus, and England have Swann missing/rested/hidden and Finn dropped, or not the right balance.

Eng win the toss, and decide to bat.

It should have been a 325 pitch, but, after a great start, Eng miss opportunities to press on, and allowed Aus back into the game.

Bell scored 91, but,it was one of those innings, you ever knew if it was match winning, or losing.

Bopara added some much needs runs, quickly at the end, as England finished on 270. I though it was 40 light, but, Warner isn't in great nick, and once Watson was out, they folded pretty tamely.

Hard to see Aus winning this tourny, without Clarke.

I can't really see Eng winning it either, but, they have very decent bowlers.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Game 2 - Pakistan v W.Indies - Oval

It will be hard to tell which side is at home here, as its reasonable to think both sides will get v strong support, and the atmosphere, is entitled to be electric.

Hoping for a decent contest. Pakistan have a really good bowling attack,but, their batting has a few holes, and they need to someone restrict the Windies to no more than 300.

If they happen to bat first, and score 320 or so, u would think they would definitely win - thou, Gayle/Pollard etc,can, make a mockery of that.

The bookies can't decide with team is favourite, but its probably a huge toss to win (and bat).

Well, W.Indies won the toss, and decided to have a bowl.

Pakistan batting holes, caused massive leaks, and despite a good effort by the captain, Misbah .. They crawled to a poor total of 170.

As we said, they bowl v well, but its not a score to exert any pressure, and it will take a monumental effort by W.Indies to lose this one.

Almost .. Pakistan bowlers would win the Tourny for the team, if only they had 4 solid batters, who could make 230+ per game.

Fine effort by them, and the usual nervy stuff from Windies. Need a strong stomach, to follow these guys over a cliff.

Champions Trophy - S.Africa v India - Cardiff

Game 1 proper, of this lightening quick tournament.

Lotsa injury worries for S.Africa. With Steyn missing the match with a side strain, and De Villiers thought to be carrying a niggle.

Already depleted by the huge loss of Smith and Kallis, u have to feel. It's tournament is quickly getting beyond them.

S.Africa win the toss, and decide to field.

It was an overcast morning, and the market reacted sharply, moving India from 1.88 faves, to 2.24.

Once play started, only Morkel was threatening and India complied 331, which could have been far more ..Dhawan got a v decent 100, probably the 1st of many.


S.Africa had chances, but lost wickets at the wrong times, with some suicidal running, and once again, get tagged as chokers. This may not be totally fair, but, they do seem to lose games, u would expect them to win.

Spoke to a few Indian supporters, and many complained about the really high prices, for .. Hotels/Trains/Food/Tickets etc, they are paying, following the team around the country. It's not cheap .. Especially for a family to watch these games, and I do wonder, if some of the games, between .. Less well supported sides, will get decent ground support. Lets hope so.


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Warm-Up match - Champions Trophy - Aus v India - Cardiff

Another warm-up game, and nice weather.

India win the toss and decide to bat.

India name 15, and can choose as they go .. Aus have named 11, with no Clarke.

Was a decent toss to win, and after India were 65-5, the game looked like being a short one.

Dhoni, is a fantastic captain/batter, and quickly changed the complection of the match, scoring a vital 91, which, with Kartiks' 140, saw India get to 330 - a very decent score, on a smallish ground.

Aus completely folded, and have a few worries. Clarke was missed, but, it wasn't a 65 all-out pitch

The support for India is amazing, and most games, will feel like home ones for them. They can definitely win the whole thing.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

2nd ODI - England v N.Zealand - Southampton

England are 1-0 down, and need to win the last 2 games, to win the series.

Weather looks fine for the week, so, they have no excuses.

Presumably, Broad and Finn will still be missing, and they need Anderson/Swann to play well .. As they have been, to restrict, even a dubious looking N.Zealand batting team.

Think generally, England are a touch over-rated in this form, and N.Zealand have a chance.


N.Zealand win the toss, and decide to bat. Southee is not playing, which is a fairly big loss.

Eng 1.56


N.Zealand 2.76


N.Zealand finish on 359-3 ... Some total,especially at the Ageas Bowl, with a mighty impressive knock from Martin Guptil, of 189 not out.

Eng will have to bat, mightily well ..


At the break, N.Zealand big favs .. 1.16


Eng made a poor effort to get the runs, despite being 50-0, with a decent rate.

Big scores are gettable in the new format, with 2 balls etc, but, they went about it poorly.

Decent 100 from Trott.


N.Zealand win e series .. Last game on Wed, becomes a dead rubber.



Saturday, 1 June 2013

Champions trophy - warm-up - India v Sri Lanka - Edgbaston

So, after the 1st warm-up game was rained off, we have better weather in Birmingham.

Both sides are playing 15 man teams, so, not sure what a good score will be.

India win the toss, and elect to field, which, I suppose makes sense, given u wouldn't know how to pace your innings.

Not sure, how it really helps, to play a warm-up like this .. Conditions will be v different from the Tournament conditions, so ...

Sri Lanka off to a good start ..

48-0 after 6 overs, cold wind here, but some sunshine.

Sri Lanka liking the cold .. 68-0 after 8.3 overs .. This could be a decent score .. If I knew what one was, in these sort of games ..

Sri Lanka move to 82-0 after 12 overs .. Perera gets a 50

50 now for Dilshan

Sri Lanka 140-0 after 23 overs.

Sri Lanka 160-0 after 25 overs .. Fair crowd in .. About 6000

Perera retires . Gives someone else a chance ..Jayawardene comes in to bat

Not sure what a good score is .. Even now, and get the feeling, India cold chase it down, if they wanted to .

But, may play in a way, just to bat etc.

Sri Lanka 170-0 after 29 overs

Dilshan now retires ..

In the other warm-up, No Gayle/Pollard/Samuels etc .. So, what's the point ?

Sri Lanka 201-0 , after 33

Sri Lanka 221-1 after 37.1 .. With 2 men retired, and 15 men teams .. Dunno if it means anything, at all, and am rapidly losing interest.

Sri Lanka 272-1 after 43, .. Starting to push, to maybe 325

Sri Lanka 296-2 after 46 ..

Sri Lanka finish on 333-3 .. That has a nice ring to it ...

Will it be enough .. ? Does anyone care ? ,for answers to these vital questions, c u after lunch.

Here's the reply ..

India lose a quick-wkt .. Run out ..

India 5-1 after 1.3

Faltering a bit, now 70-3 after 7.2 .. Need another 264, 50 behind D/L par score.

India 128-4 after 25 overs..

Ruler of the World, won the Derby ...

Game has come alive ..

India 194-4 after 33 ..

This is set-up nicely , 15 overs to go, 206-4 ..need 127 off 90

Good game .. 10 overs left, they need 81, Kohli has 125 NO .. And hasn't retired

Sun has come out, not so cold ..

5 overs to go, and they don't this easily. Kohli gets a superb 144, and they need 29 from 30 balls, 5 wickets left.

3 overs to go, they need 16 runs .. Should be a cake-walk .. Dhoni .. And Karthik (93)