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Nic Ladds 4th Oct 2009 - 18:19

A sizzling Southern hemisphere clash in the Champions Trophy final

Two age-old rivals meet in the final of the Champions Trophy as Australia take on New Zealand with the Aussies at odds of 4/9 while the Kiwis unsurprisingly come in as underdogs at 7/4.

Both these sides have won one title each with New Zealand winning in 2000 while Australia are of course the defending champions and certainly have no aspirations to let the title go to their nearest geographical rivals.

People may look at the line ups and odds and immediately see no way that Australia can lose as they are at full strength while New Zealand have a host of injuries, but as this tournament has shown, many an underdog has come through and with a win of the toss and some solid batting, the Black Caps could well upset the odds.

The Aussies were nothing short of impressive in the manner they chased down England's total in the semi-finals with both Ricky Ponting (5/2 for top Australian batsman) and Shane Watson (7/2) making unbeaten centuries and both these have the scope to make huge totals again.

Michael Hussey at 9/2 is also a fair bet if the two above him should fail while Tim Paine at 9/2 has flitted between impressive and poor and it is hard to know what to expect so the other three look better options and while it is hard to talk anyone out of backing Ponting, Hussey at 9/2 could be better value.

New Zealand's hopes could lie on whether their potentially lethal top order including Brendan McCullum (10/3 for top batsman) and Martin Guptill (4/1) can fire, and if they can they have a great chance. Ross Taylor at 7/2 is another who can hit big scores while 11/2 chance Grant Elliot hit an unbeaten 78 against Pakistan to top score last time.

Ian Butler who took four wickets against Pakistan look the best bet for top Kiwi bowler at 5/1 although Shane Bond has a formidable record against Australia taking 34 wickets in 11 matches and has dismissed Ponting six times in nine games and is 5/2 to take the top bowler accolade this time.

A lot could hinge on the toss with seven of the last eight day-night matches being won by the team batting first (Australia bucked the trend against England last game) and should the underdogs win the toss the 7/4 available may begin to look very generous.

In some match bets, it could pay to exploit the fact Bond has an excellent record against Australia and have him to do better bowling than Daniel Vettori at 10/11, while Ross Taylor averages 40 with the bat and could out score Brendan McCullum also at 10/11.

This should be a great spectacle to watch with some furious antipodean rivalry and as well as the trophy, bragging rights on the line and until we know the outcome of the toss, for those wanting a bet on the match betting, a wager on New Zealand at 7/4 to upset their great rivals could lead to a great start to the week.


Ian Butler top New Zealand bowler - 5/1

Michael Hussey top Australian batsman - 9/2


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