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Nic Ladds 2nd Jul 2009 - 13:25

Make the Ashes even more special

Do you reckon Andrew Flintoff is finished? Do you think there will be an innings defeat in Cardiff? Or do you even think England’s first bowled ball will sail for four byes?

Whatever  your opinion, William Hill are offering a host of special markets on The Ashes which gets underway on 8 July and here we are going to have a look at some of the best bets for you to put your hard earned cash on.

The first bet that jumps out is How many centuries will Andrew Flintoff score in The Ashes? As unpatriotic as it is, if you want to profit out of England’s misery then a wager on none at odds of 8/13 could be the call.

Barring a recent good knock in a Twenty20 game, ‘Freddie’ has been in poor form with the bat and it is unlikely a tough Test series will see that form pick up.

It has been over 40 Test matches since Flintoff last made a century and if you take in to account he is likely to be batting down the order (hovering somewhere round seven), then he may not even have the opportunity to make a hefty total and 8/13 could be a cracking price.

For those who think will come roaring back to form one century is 7/4, two is 10/1 and three or more a whopping 20/1.

Another Flintoff market is how many Tests will Freddie play? Five at 8/13 is the obvious favourite as if he is fit he will play, but Freddie has had so many injury problems, a small bet on two or three at 12/1 could have some mileage in it should his full throttle bowling style cause him to break down once again.

The 1st ball of the last Ashes series: Steve Harmison  sends it straight to Andrew Flintoff at first slip

For a bit of fun a bet on the first England ball of The Ashes being a wide at odds of 12/1 or a bye at 14/1 could be worth a bet.

The nerves as the first ball is delivered will be huge for both batsman and bowler but it is up to the bowler to get it on target.

If James Anderson bowls the first ball (for which he is 4/7 to do so), he can often be erratic and eagerness to get off to a good start could see the ball fly miles down either side of the crease.

An interesting market that could provide punters with some English joy is the ‘Highest Ashes Opening Partnership’ market where Australia are favourites at 8/13 in the betting with England at 6/5 and the tie priced at 20/1.

There could be some mileage in backing England this time as if we go on the assumption that England are going to opt with about five specialist bowlers (while Australia have more all rounders), they are going to need their top five or six batsmen to really make some hefty totals.

In Alistair Cook and Andrew Strauss, England have two solid batsmen who are more than capable of racking up some big scores which will be paramount for the home side to build a big innings in preparation for their weaker, inconsistent middle and lower order.

Indeed Cook has scored two centuries in his last six Tests for England and before that hit three fifties in a row. Strauss although inconsistent has hit three centuries in his last nine matches so if he gets going you can see these two making a huge total at some point making the 6/5 on offer about England totalling the highest opening partnership appealing.

William Hill are offering a host of other special markets for The Ashes and so get involved now so you can be involved in all the action from the first ball.

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