Monday, March 25, 2013

First ODI SL vs BD - 23/3/13

The odds before start of match were 1.2 in f/o SL. So, as usual the odds tell what was going to be the result of the match and how one sided it was going to be in the end, though to viewers and experts, initially and /or during the course of the match, it may appear that there was going to be a keen competitive match on hand. Bangladesh had more than competed in one of the last two Tests and had done very well in ODI's in the last Asia Cup, to reach the finals over India and SL. So how the odds of 1.2 would be justified, I would love some expert to explain to me. 

With such odds on offer, the tendency of a majority of punters would be to back the weaker team first, hoping for an opportunity sometime during the course of the match to cover their potential losses and get into a win-win position. This is because the chasm in the odds doesn't match the difference in the potential of the teams, as above, and/or odds are so low in f/o the stronger team that backing it would always appear a risky proposition to a punter. And it is not that the opportunity punters are looking for never comes. When such opportunity comes (sometimes it hardly comes or doesn't come at all), there are two things that happen. One, the odds on offer for the stronger team, though improved from initial position, look absurdly low to back it given that particular position/stage of the match. Two, such an opportunity, when it comes, mostly comes for a small duration or a fleeting moment, such that, more often than not, one fails to en-cash this opportunity. Not only that, many a punter would increase his/her potential loss backing the weak team in view of the odds on offer vis-a-vis the situation of the match, as mentioned above. The fixers and the script-writers understand, they have to, all this too well. That's why, then, suddenly the potentially stronger team will come back into its elements, or the potentially weaker team would commit the harakiri, to give no chance to the poor punters (backing the weak team) to cover their losses.

The scripts of the matches between two seemingly unequal teams and the odds on offer are invariably (some exceptions would always be there) governed by the above principle/s. Application by the fixers, and the occurrence, of the same principle/s again and again won't be possible if cricket were natural. One would have come across aberrations many times over, from a set principle, in a naturally uncertain game of cricket.

I clarify the above with the help of this game and some other recent games. Bangladesh batted first and scored 259/8 in 50 overs. During their innings, the commentators, one after another, and repeatedly, had been telling that 240 would be a very good score on this pitch, and that highest score successfully chased ever had been 211 ( if I remember correctly). And BD, by no means, had a poor bowling attack, their bowling having not done badly even in the 2nd Test they lost (it was their batting that had failed). Still at the end of BD innings, the odds in f/o SL were just about 1.36. That may not be so grossly unjustified when compared with the starting odds, but just after start of  the SL innings, with their stiffer revised target of 238 in 41 overs, the odds were even fractionally less at 1.35, with 4 off the first ball. The second over yielded 19 runs and with continuous steep fall, in no time, by the 10th over or so, the odds had come down to around 1.04, never looking up again. The bookies knew, and the experts didn't, what was to happen in the match.

To emphasize the point again, inspired or guided by the commentators' words, the punters would have expected BD to come to a stronger position, at least at some point of time during the SL innings, but would have found themselves trapped as the match progressed. Suppose you are not a punter but just a cricket enthusiast. Expecting a keen competitive game, even you would have felt bad, and may be cheated as well. This is what the staged cricket and manipulated commentators/experts do to the punters and the real cricket enthusiasts alike.

The matches between WI and ZIM also were scripted on the same principle/s. In both the tests, ZIM did well briefly up to lunch time or before on the first day, before its batsmen continued with the harakiri throughout the rest of the matches. And in the limited overs matches, when one would expect even lesser teams to be competitive, I don't remember if ZIM competed even briefly in any of those matches, at least nothing worth remembering. (Are you thinking of telling me how one can expect ZIM to compete, that too against WI? If so, I would remind you that it was in a T20 World Cup match that ZIM had beaten Aus, courtesy batting of same Taylor who lost form for this WI tour. And in test matches, not too long ago, this very ZIM had posted large totals against no inferior Pak bowling attack (if my memory serves me right)).

The recent two test matches between SA and NZ, with absurdly low starting odds for a test match at about 1.25 in f/o SA, followed the same principle/s, with odds hardly ever looking up from the starting odds. Same NZ that was to dominate the 3 test series against much higher ranking England not much later. And scripting and odd management of  the last SA-PAK test series also was not much different.

One may say, "But for SL-BD test series these principles were not followed." Right. As it has also been explained in the book, nothing is followed 100%. I have tried to show above, how particular principles are followed in a majority of matches between  two teams perceived to be more unequal, and how repeated occurrence of these principles does indicate staged cricket. In the matches that don't follow these principles, different ways and means are implemented to be-fool the punters. And as said in the book, it doesn't matter, rather serves fixers' purpose, if in odd matches the punters are able to make money. And if in odd matches, the weak teams don't do well, why would anyone ever back them?

Coming back to the match at hand, BD scored 57/1 in first ten overs, and 82/3 in 20 overs, having been 63/3 in 12.5 overs and 78/3 in 18 overs. This is how session scoring was manipulated, 1 run being scored off the last ball in the 20th over. That would mean 10-20 over session scoring was manipulated (in same way   as has been shown to have been done in another match earlier by me) such that the score at the end of the session was less than the minimum on offer any time during the session.

Another interesting session scoring. Now a days, there are different sessions between 30-35 overs and 35-40 overs. At the end of 35 overs, BD were 148/4, the 4th wicket having fallen well back in the 29th over. That would mean, two well set, and known good hitters and brisk scorers, batsmen were on the crease. And yet they scored a meager 21 runs in the 5 overs of batting power play (with field restrictions favouring batsmen) without losing any wicket. Against same bowling attack, they piled 90 runs in the next ten overs, with wickets falling at regular intervals (the set dangerous Tamim Iqbal's wilful run-out after scoring a century included). One could say that it was their strategy. It sure was strategy for the fixers to mint money (through the actors) both in 35-40 overs and 40-50 overs sessions.

And how do odds vary? With 1.32 at 204/4 in 43.3 overs, the odds move up to only 1.36 or 1.35 with further 55 runs scored in next 6.3 overs, achieving a formidable total of 259 (as told by the experts and the commentators).

One may easily come across such things match after match, involving all the teams and all the cricketers.

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