Robbie Handley has two bets for Friday's ODI at The Brightside Ground, Bristol.
England v Ireland, Sky Sports 2 HD (10:30)
England’s warm up to the ICC Champions Trophy is a two match ODI series with neighbours Ireland. Playing in the second tier of international cricket they are packed with recognisable names from the English county circuit such as Ed Joyce (Sussex), Gary Wilson (Derbyshire) and William Porterfield (Warwickshire). Star seamer and former England Test player Boyd Rankin misses out through injury. On balance you’d expect England to absolutely walk these two games especially with places in the ICC Champions Trophy squad up for grabs.
Looking at the top of the order for each team you’ll discover a completely different tempo. Roy and Hales, the top order guns for England need no introduction, whilst Ireland's Paul Sterling (Middlesex) is a threat though inconsistent. His partner, William Porterfield, tends to build an innings rather than blast them. This leads to me to the highest first 15 overs market, where you’ll find England are 4/9 to prevail, which looks well worth an investment.
A welcome return to the squad in time for the big tournament is Mark Wood, who is a potential match and tournament winner for the home side. He gives his skipper plenty of fire power with his skiddy but extremely sharp right arm bullets, and is my pick to top the England bowling in the match.