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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Surrey's battery of quicks could put Bears on back foot

Tom Curran (left) has impressed Surrey's director of cricket Alec Stewart
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Start 11am Friday

Surrey are worth a wager at 5-6, with stakes returned if a draw, to get their Division One season off to a fast start with victory at The Oval over Warwickshire.

The Bears inflicted Surrey’s only home defeat last year but the game was at Guildford rather than the famous Vauxhall venue and the ten-wicket July reverse was avenged by Gareth Batty’s side at Edgbaston in August in equally comprehensive style.

That Guildford success was also Warwickshire’s only win on the road and as well as beating Notts and Lancashire in south London, Surrey held their own with Somerset and showed good guts in battling draws with Durham and Hampshire. The other games were rain-affected.

Apart from Jason Roy, who is away at the IPL, Surrey are at full strength and they have an embarassment of riches in the fast-bowling department with the Curran brothers, Stuart Meaker, Mark Footitt and Jade Dernbach battling for berths. By contrast, the Bears are without quicks Chris Woakes (IPL) and Boyd Rankin.

Essex are 11-10 to win their first game back in the top flight, at Chelmsford against Lancashire, while title-favourites Yorkshire are 8-15 to beat Hampshire at Headingley.

1pt 5-6 BetBright

Lions ready to roar

West Indies v Pakistan
Sky Sports Mix, 2.30pm Friday
Gujarat v Kolkata
Sky Sports 3, 3.30pm Friday 

Back Gujarat to have the higher first six-over score in game three of the new IPL season in Rajkot.

The Lions beat Kolkata Knight Riders in both meetings last year, when they topped the league standings and had by far the best Powerplay record. The chasing side won four of the five matches played at the Saurashtra Stadium last year so the toss looks key to the value of match-result prices.

The IPL has deprived West Indies of most of their limited-overs stars so it is no surprise that Pakistan are 1-2 to build on their T20 series success in the Caribbean with victory in the first ODI in Providence. Heavy rain is forecast for Guyana though.

Gujarat higher first six-over score
1pt 10-11 SkyBet

The Curran brothers, Stuart Meaker, Mark Footitt and Jade Dernbach are battling for fast-bowling berths
E.W. Terms
Sky bet