The final game of the New Zealand tour, ahead of the Ashes, and England and New Zealand look set to conclude with another thrilling game


Alex Hales Top England Batsman 100/30 SkyBet

On Tuesday evening England and New Zealand meet at Old Trafford for a T20 International. After England showed so much better form and a much more modern approach in the five match ODI series they look set for more of the same in this one-off game for which the outright prices are 10/11 each of two

The likely XI England play (leaving out Vince and Topley) certainly looks up to the task. The presence of all-rounders Stokes and Willey means the team will bat down to number 9 and contains some of the most successful domestic T20 performers of the last 18 months such as Jason Roy and Sam Billings.

At the end of this tour, New Zealand look as strong as ever in the batting ranks but are struggling for bowling competitiveness. Boult and Anderson are big losses through injury and Tim Southee apart the bowling attack is young and inexperienced. This really showed in the Durham game when they could not close the game out. McClenaghan was dropped for the game, Mathieson was on debut, Santner a teenager on his first tour and Henry a genuine third seamer

I would expect the game to be high scoring as long as conditions allow, such is the batting talent on display relative to the bowling ranks and if choosing a winner would pick England albeit that is not a selection here because I will await conditions and the toss

Instead, a look at the England batsman market

The likely batting line up in order is as follows

Hales 100/30
Roy 7/2
Root 5/1
Morgan 9/2
Stokes 11/2
Buttler or Bairstow (depending on the former’s fitness) 6/1
Billings 13/2
Willey 8/1

Obviously in the shortest format, the quicker you are at the crease, the shorter your price in the top batsman market is going to be especially for the openers with the opening powerplay to take advantage of. In this regard Hales is a far safer bet than Roy, whose technique has looked scratchy in the ODI series

Hales has over 1,000 runs in T20 Internationals with a strike rate of 138 including seven fifties and a hundred. In the ODI series he got several starts including a 67 and a 54 without scoring the game changing knock he would have been looking for. He should be a worthy favourite for this game given (Southee apart) the lack of penetration the New Zealand bowling has shown in the ODIs


Alex Hales Top England Batsman 100/30 SkyBet