Our Dave Tickner has a 7/1 pick for Tuesday's Royal London One-Day Cup quarter-finals.
Recommended bet: Royal London One-Day Cup QFs
The Royal London One-Day Cup reaches the knockout stages this week, and it’s time for a rare bit of praise for the ECB. They changed the format this year, and it’s definitely fairer.
There’s now tangible reward for topping the group in the preliminary stage, with Essex and Worcestershire skipping the quarter-final stage and going straight through to the semi-finals.
The teams finishing second and third in each group now play off for the right to meet them, so there are only two quarter-finals to be played.
And these knockout games have also be scheduled to land on rest days in the Champions Trophy. It’s almost like common sense has been used.
There’s a final bit of good news as well. To be fair this one was beyond the organising body’s remit, but it’s still a bonus that the quarter-finals have thrown up a delicious heavyweight clash with Yorkshire meeting Surrey in Tuesday’s televised day-nighter at Headingley (1400 BST start).
Both teams are clearly packed with quality and we’re not about to try to pick a winner in the outright market, beyond the simplistic assertion that Surrey are odds-against outsiders and therefore make more appeal in a game that looks tight to call.
Happily, there’s a more conspicuous bit of value around in the sub-markets, where Ben Foakes is 7/1 with BetBright to top-score for Surrey and well worth support at that price.
As ever, there’s an inherent risk in backing a middle-order batsman in this market for limited-overs games. You may get no run for your money, and Surrey’s top order is not weak.
But that’s more than built into this price for a batsman who has scored more than 300 runs in seven games in this competition and top-scored three times despite twice not making it to the middle. His One-Day Cup scores this season read: 92, 77*, 55*, 3, 82*.
And while red-ball and white-ball cricket are very different beasts, it certainly doesn’t hurt that Foakes comes into Tuesday’s game on the back of an unbeaten 65 in the Championship against Essex.
With Headingley precisely the sort of ground and Yorkshire’s precisely the sort of attack that can cause top-order distress, there seems no reason not to get involved in Foakes to carry on where he left off in the group stage.
The other quarter-final pits Somerset against Notts, with the visitors odds-on favourites in a market that looks about right.
Samit Patel was comfortably Notts’ leading run-scorer in the group stage and comes into this one on the back of a Championship double-century – he’s worth a look at 4/1 in the top-bat market, while Billy ‘Brother Of’ Root is probably overpriced at 13/2 having made a century and a half-century in six innings during the first round.
On the other side, Adam Hose may not be the biggest name in the Somerset line-up but shouldn’t be 7/1 after a run of 76, 39, 50, 101* during the group stage.
Where to watch on TV: Yorkshire v Surrey is live on Sky Sports 2
Posted at 1555 BST on 12/06/17.