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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Brilliant Boult can get among the Aussie wickets

Kiwi quick set to be suited by cloud cover at Edgbaston

New Zealand celebrate Trent Boult taking an Áustralian wicket
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Champions Trophy Group A
Sky Sports 2, 10.30am Friday

England showed why they are the bookmakers’ favourites for the Champions Trophy by beating Bangladesh by eight wickets at The Oval.

The Tigers made 305-6, with James Milton's 3-1-tip Tamim Iqbal top-scoring with 128, but Eoin Morgan’s men cruised home with 16 balls left. Joe Root hit 133 not out, Alex Hales made 95 and Morgan was 75 not out.

This second Group A game at Edgbaston between Australia and New Zealand is a repeat of the 2015 World Cup final in Melbourne.

Australia, 8-15 to prevail on this occasion, carried that day comfortably, winning by seven wickets after dismissing New Zealand for 183 in 45 overs. The Aussies have also won all four completed Champions Trophy contests including the 2009 final. 

However, the Black Caps had won the teams' 2015 World Cup pool-stage battle in Auckland and the score stands at 4-4 in their eight 50-over meetings since that MCG final. Kane Williamson's charges also won their clash at last year's World T20.

Best bet
New Zealand were walloped by 210 runs on their last ODI-visit to Edgbaston but their brilliant left-arm quick Trent Boult still took four England wickets, including Jason Roy for a diamond duck, and he is worth a wager to get more than 33.5 performance points with bet365. Twenty points are awarded for each wicket, with ten for a catch and one for every run scored. 

Boult's supreme control and swing was a feature of that tour and even though he went unrewarded early on in Tuesday's warm-up at Edgbaston, he returned to take two Sri Lanka scalps and he has a tremendous 50-over record against Australia.

A haul of 6-33 in Hamilton earlier this year made it 24 Green & Gold victims in nine ODI meetings. He has taken multiple wickets six times and claimed three catches as well as scratching a best score of 13 not out.

Sri Lanka's ten-wicket win over England in pursuit of 256 last June made it four victories out of the last six completed ODIs at Edgbaston for the chasing side. The exceptions are New Zealand's 2015 languishing in the face of a 409-target and the Three Lions' loss to India in the rain-affected 2013 Champions Trophy final.

Earlier in that tournament though, Australia had lost by 48 runs to England in Birmingham and a second-city trans-Tasman meeting was washed out with New Zealand 51-2 in pursuit of 244.

The Aussies' warm-up game at Edgbaston was washed out early but Sri Lanka's 356 was a cinch for the Kiwis and Pakistan purred home in pursuit of Bangladesh's 341.     

Team news
One of Australia's out-and-out quicks is expected to miss out for the all-round skills of John Hastings or Marcus Stoinis. Leg-spinner Adam Zampa may also be passed over in favour of the part-time spin of both Travis Head and Glenn Maxwell.

New Zealand need to make a choice between keeper-bats Tom Latham and Luke Ronchi as Martin Guptill's opening-partner and to decide whether an extra all-rounder or more pure pace and swing is needed.   

Cloudy and humid, with morning rain likely. 17C.

T Boult to score 34 or more performance points
3pts 5-6 bet365    

A haul of 6-33 in Hamilton earlier this year made it 24 Green & Gold victims in nine ODI meetings
E.W. Terms
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