AUSTRALIA should go to pace-friendly Perth full of confidence after almost causing a boilover in Adelaide against India.
The Aussies rallied on the final day behind the Tim Paine-led lower order to fall 31 runs short, giving the tourists a first series-opening Test success on Australian soil.
AUSTRALIA (.95) V INDIA (.40), SECOND TEST, PERTH, STARTS FRIDAY
Did the scoreboard flatter the hosts? That’s the burning question for the second Test at Perth Stadium.
India threw away its wickets in the second innings after lunch on the fourth day in a bold bid to get the win. Late wickets coupled with the Australian run chase should give the home side a ton of motivation to go one better on the fast and bouncy Perth deck.
If Australia is going to win a Test in this series, this might well be the one despite concerns about captain Paine’s finger.
Strike bowler Mitchell Starc struggled to find any rhythm in Adelaide but should be better for the run after a long lay-off, while West Australian Shaun Marsh will be suited by the conditions.
Marcus Harris and Travis Head showed promise, but opener Aaron Finch needs runs.
Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood should revel in Perth and take greater advantage of the conditions than Indian quicks Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah.
TAB SPECIAL BET
A century to be scored by any player on Day 1 of the 2nd Test Australia v India.
MEG TO SHOW STARS WHO’S BOSS
MELBOURNE STARS V PERTH SCORCHERS
CASEY FIELDS, SATURDAY 10AM
Perth Scorchers (.60) captain Meg Lanning will be desperate to get one over her old WBBL outfit Melbourne Stars (.30) in a quest for domestic success.
Lanning, who signed with the Scorchers after two seasons at the Stars, sat out the WBBL season last year following shoulder surgery.
In her two seasons with the Stars, the Australian captain had a competition-high average of 51.16. Lanning joins forces with fellow Australian batters Elyse Villani and Nicole Bolton in Perth.
The Scorchers finished runners-up in the past two WBBL seasons behind Sydney Sixers.
Hobart defeated Melbourne Stars by 72 runs in Burnie last weekend, while Brisbane cruised to a seven-wicket victory over Perth.
Lanning sat out the loss to the Heat due to a back complaint.
BRISBANE ROAR (.60) V MELBOURNE VICTORY (.95)
SUNCORP STADIUM, FRIDAY 7.50PM
MELBOURNE Victory will look to extend its A-League winning streak to six on Friday night.
High-octane Victory, which has outscored its opposition 12 goals to two in its past four games, should have too much firepower for Brisbane Roar despite having to travel.
Victory strikers Kosta Barbarouses and hulking Swede Ola Toivonen found the back of the net last week in the 2-0 win against Adelaide United, while Keisuke Honda is a constant threat.
Roar pulled off a mighty upset last season, defeating Victory 2-1 as the .05 underdog.
Melbourne could join Perth Glory at the top of the ladder with a win in Brisbane. Roar needs the win to stay in touch with the top four.
ADELAIDE UNITED (.25) V MELBOURNE CITY (.05)
COOPERS STADIUM, SUNDAY 7PM
ADELAIDE United hasn’t beaten Melbourne City in its past four starts yet has opened favourite for Sunday’s clash.
United lost 2-0 at Melbourne Victory last week, while City is fresh off a gallant 1-0 loss at competition leader Perth Glory.
City drew 1-1 in Adelaide when the sides met in March, eight weeks after a 5-0 City win at AAMI Park. United has played tidy soccer of late with wins against Brisbane, Wellington and Central Coast despite no proven avenue to goal.
United had 16 shots on goal last week but only four were on target.
City would replace Adelaide in fourth spot with a win on Sunday.
NICK QUINN’S BEST FOR THE TRACK
(Randwick Race 6, No. 9)
Rising star sprinter who has won six of his past seven starts and looks well placed to complete a hat-trick of wins.
If you are looking to better than double your money on a runner on Saturday he is the one.
(Doomben Race 9, No. 4)
He has been a darling for punters and is chasing a hat-trick of wins after shooting up the rail to land a betting plunge last start.
Should appreciate getting clear galloping room from the wider draw and again looks the winner.
(Ascot Race 1, No. 1)
Tasted defeat for the first time last start when nabbed in the shadows of the post after everything went wrong in the run.
Should get a comfortable lead from gate three and rack up another victory
M PATS DELIGHT
(Melton Friday night Race 8, No. 3)
Has not finished worse than second in three heats of the Interdom and has drawn nicely in the final.
Should get a lovely run in transit and looks a good each-way play.
FIELD OF DREAMS WITH CHANCES APLENTY IN FINAL
TAB INTER DOMINION FINALS, MELTON, SATURDAY
THE Inter Dominion pacing final will be run at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night and it’s been full of twists and turns since betting opened nearly two months ago.
Chicago Bull headed early pacing markets before an accident in late October ruled him out of both the New Zealand Cup and Inter Dominion.
In fact, every horse opened 1 or longer when TAB markets first went up.
Tiger Tara did firm to .50 before the first round of heats to assume series favouritism but since then it’s been a wild ride.
Spankem was quickly wound in from 1 before his first heat win before settling at .20 before the draw for the final.
Punters and bookmakers clearly liked him drawing barrier five for the final, and he is now into .20 and an outright favourite.
Im Pats Delight was dealt no harm with barrier three, but he did drift slightly from .80 before the draw to .
Cruz Bromac has had an easy time winning each of his three heats.
Despite starting from two on the second line, he has been backed in to .60 from .50.
In the trotters’ division, punters have been on the ball from day one.
Tornado Valley was heavily backed from all the way down to .10 before the first round of heats and, with gate six in the final, he has continued to find fans and is into .70 now.
Speeding Spur (.20) has held second favouritism since New Zealand Cup week. That won’t change in the lead-up to the race with the pole marking draw his to use.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (.50) V LA CHARGERS (.60),
ARROWHEAD STADIUM, FRIDAY 12.20PM
WEEK 15 of the NFL kicks off with a titanic clash between Kansas City Chiefs (11-2 win-loss record) and Los Angeles Chargers (10-3).
The Chiefs overcame Baltimore Ravens 27-24 in overtime at home last week.
The Chargers won for the ninth time in 10 games when they held off the spirited Cincinnati Bengals 26-21 at home.
If the Chiefs beat the Chargers, they will be crowned AFC West division champions.
When these sides met in the opening week of the season, Kansas City won 38-28 in Los Angeles, with Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes throwing four touchdown passes.
With Trent Langskaill
With Glenn McFarlane
HE’S THE MAN
Usman Khawaja’s mistimed lofted drive in the second innings in Adelaide would have caused him anguish, give how close the Aussies came. Getting out for eight to a shot like that will see him desperate to hit back in Perth. So I’m happy to take him at the .50 to be Australia’s highest run scorer in the first innings of the second Test. He’s the favoured option inbetting and hopefully can make amends.
Melbourne Victory looks to be firing on all cylinders at the moment and should account for Brisbane Roar on Friday night. Fresh from their convincing win over Adelaide last week, the option at taking them to beat the Roar by two goals or more (.50) looks an attractive one.
I’m looking at Australia’s most wickets option in the first innings to hopefully put a bit of value in our multis. I’ll throw Pat Cummins () into the mix here given the query on Mitchell Starc and the fact Perth won’t necessarily suit Nathan Lyon. India will likely play conservatively against Josh Hazlewood, so that might see Cummins cause some damage. United will want to rebound against Perth and Victory are flying.
LEG 1: Pat Cummins most wickets Australia first innings
LEG 2: Melbourne United to beat Perth Wildcats .67
LEG 3: Melbourne Victory to beat Brisbane Roar .95