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Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Back 11-2 Bopara to keep Sharks at bay

Big-hitting looks assured in the IPL

Essex all-rounder Ravi Bopara
1 of 1

Essex v Sussex
Sky Sports 2, 2pm Wednesday
Gujarat v Delhi
Sky Sports 3, 3.30pm Wednesday

The One-Day Cup continues at a relentless pace with seven matches for punters to tackle as the end of the group phase approaches.

Televised action comes from Chelmsford where South Group protagonists Essex and Sussex will both look to consolidate their top-three positions.

Hosts Essex narrowly failed to maintain their perfect start to the group stage in Cardiff on Sunday, succumbing by just a single run against Glamorgan.

Ryan ten Doeschate’s Eagles are 8-11 to make amends against the Sharks, with the visitors an 11-10 shot.

Given the form of both sides this a tough one to call so a play in the top runscorer markets looks best advised.

With the availability of former England Test captain Alastair Cook, Essex are blessed with top-order options.

That has pushed fellow Lions international Ravi Bopara down to number five in the order, but that has not stopped him having a productive start to the season.

Bopara has compiled knocks of 36, 37 and 56 in his last three 50-over outings and could be fair value at 11-2 to turn one of those starts into a big score against Sussex.

Lancashire gained a much-needed win over fellow strugglers Warwickshire on Sunday but they look uneasy 10-11 pokes to follow up against Worcestershire outfit at Old Trafford.

The second-placed Rapids are unbeaten in four outings and will be boosted by the availability of England all-rounder Mooen Ali for their next three One-Day Cup matches.

He will add to an in-form batting unit that has already posted two scores of over 300, and another of 277.

At around even money, the Midlands county make plenty of appeal to pile more misery on the hosts.

Over in the IPL, only victory will suffice for Gujarat or Delhi if they are to keep their slim semi-final hopes alive.

Both sides will in all probability need to win all of their remaining fixtures and rely on a seismic collapse from one of the current top four to have any chance of making the final four.

That looks an unlikely scenario, but judged on the pairs’ meeting six days ago, they look sure to come out swinging in Kanpur.

There were a staggering 31 maximums in that Delhi dust-up so with the abundance of firepower on show, backing over 13 sixes with bet365 could be the best approach.

Pakistan are 5-6 favourites to seal a Test series victory over the West Indies in Dominica.

Recommendations
R Bopara top Essex runscorer
1pt 11-2 general
Worcestershire
2pts Evs general
Over 13 sixes in Gujarat v Delhi
2pts Evs bet365

Bopara's move down to number five has not stopped him having a productive start to the season
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