England take on Pakistan in the fourth ODI of the series on Monday, amid more rumours of spot fixing directed at the tourists, after they snatched victory in the third match. England now hold a 2-1 lead over Pakistan in the series, as they suffered a batting collapse which let Pakistan grab an unlikely win. England were chasing down a very modest total of 242 and after some wobbles from the top of the order, Eoin Morgan looked to be steering England to a victory, with the hosts needing just 41 with ten overs left to spare. However, Pakistan pace bowler Umar Gul found some remarkable inspiration for his country, as he skittled out England’s remaining defence with 4-6 in just three overs to wipe out England’s chance of taking an unassailable three nil lead in the series. Morgan was top scorer for England with 61 and his was the key wicket to fall, as he had steadied the ship along with Luke Wright and seemed to have done more than enough to get England comfortably to the finish line. It wasn’t to be however, as a devastating bowling spell from Gul ripped victory away from England. It now sets up an interesting fourth encounter, and all parties involved are keen to see the series play out to a conclusion, despite the new rumours of fixing, which were reported when certain scoring patterns were noticed.
England have recalled the fit again Ian Bell to the one day squad, and he showed some good form for Warwickshire on the weekend as he cracked off a century. Bell will be an important part of the Ashes Tour, the next focus for England after the Pakistan series has been completed. The Ashes Tour starts in November, and if Bell gets thrown straight back into International duty, which will probably be at the expense of Ravi Bopara, it will help him get settled into his role again. A Bell for Bopara swap will probably be the only change to the side which takes to the field at Lords on Monday, starting a 1.30pm. While the chance of a clean sweep has gone, England are still strong favourites in betting to grab the series. As shown in the third match, it really has taken something special and remarkable from Pakistan to snatch a victory, and this now will be a good test for England, ensuring that they are not complacent and reminding them that they need to work hard for victories. For the individual match betting, England will remain as favourites as well, simply because they are much stronger in their home conditions. Likewise they are still worth backing for a good series win, because if they take the fourth ODI, then Pakistan probably won’t have a lot of fight left for the last one. After all of the allegations on the tour this summer, Pakistan have shown a little more competitiveness, but England really have the edge over them.
England v Pakistan 4th ODI
England to win: 4/9 at Bet365
Pakistan to win: 9/5 at SportingBet
England v Pakistan ODI Series Outright Score
England 4-1: Evens at 888Sport
England 3-2: 11/1 at Blue Square
Pakistan 3-2: 6/1 at Bet365
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