Weekly Cricket Roundup – Final Ashes Test Preview & More

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The fifth and final Ashes Test gets underway on Thursday, July 27. Holding a 2-1 lead, Australia has already retained the urn, but England will be determined to draw the series at the Oval.

Elsewhere, the inaugural Major League Cricket season has reached the playoffs. The Seattle Orcas and Texas Super Kings will contest the Qualifier, while the Washington Freedom and MI New York will battle it out for a place in the Challenger.

In addition to previewing the final Ashes Test and the Major League Cricket playoffs, Sports Hub’s weekly cricket roundup also looks ahead to the 2023 edition of The Hundred. Ready? Let’s go!

What’s Happening in the World of Cricket?

You will be pleased to learn that there are lots of exciting cricket betting opportunities on offer at the moment. Of course, the final Ashes Test takes center stage in the world of cricket this week, but there are plenty of other leagues and tournaments to wager on. 

The first-ever Major League Cricket season has already served more than its fair share of exhilarating matches, and we still have the playoffs to look forward to! On the other side of the Atlantic, The Hundred is set to return for a third season. 

You can find my final Ashes Test preview, prediction and pick a little later. First, let’s go over all the latest cricket news, starting with a review of the fourth Ashes Test that saw Australia retain the urn at the expense of England.

Australia Retains the Ashes

Following a three-wicket victory for England at Headingley, the 2023 Ashes series was finely poised at 2-1 in favor of Australia ahead of the fourth match. However, the Manchester rain prevented England from leveling the score, meaning the Aussies cannot lose the series. 

After dismissing Australia for 317 runs, England responded with a mammoth 592-run innings. Zak Crawley smashed 189 off 182 deliveries, while Jonny Bairstow fell just one run shy of an 81-ball century. 

The tourists responded by putting on 214 runs for five wickets, leaving them 61 runs short of England’s total. The hosts looked destined to taste victory and level the series, but heavy rain on the final two days resulted in a draw. Consequently, Australia retained the Ashes.

Major League Cricket Heats Up

The Major League Cricket regular season has finished, meaning the playoffs are here. The postseason begins on Thursday, Saturday 27, with the final scheduled for Sunday, July 30. 

The San Francisco Unicorns and Los Angeles Knight Riders have been eliminated from the competition, leaving the Seattle Orcas, Texas Super Kings, MI New York and Washington Freedom to battle for the first-ever MLC title. 

Here are the latest 2023 Major League Cricket outright odds:

  • Seattle Orcas (+115) 
  • Texas Super Kings (+135) 
  • MI New York (+450) 
  • Washington Freedom (+550)

Having claimed the top two places in the standings, Seattle and Texas will contest the Qualifier. The winner of that match will head straight into the final, while the loser will face the winner of the Eliminator in the Challenger. 

Boasting two of the top four run-scorers (Dwayne Bravo and Devon Conway) as well as the leading wicket-taker (Mohammed Moshin), the Super Kings have lit up the tournament so far. However, the bookies favor the Orcas, who won four of their five regular-season matches.

The Hundred Returns Next Week

The 2023 edition of The Hundred gets underway on August 1. The unique 100-ball tournament is gearing up for a third season in England and Wales, with many of the world’s best white-ball players set to return for another campaign.

The Trent Rockets won the men’s tournament last year, while the Oval Invincibles won the women’s tournament. The Invincibles defended their title last season, meaning they head into the 2023 campaign as the team to beat in the women’s competition.

Be sure to keep an eye out for betting advice for The Hundred as the season unfolds. Future weekly cricket roundups will feature both news and tips for The Hundred throughout the tournament.

Final Ashes Test Preview – Odds and Pick

It’s time to look ahead to the final Ashes Test. Commencing on Thursday, July 27, the fifth match of a thrilling 2023 series will take place at the iconic Kia Oval in London.

As I already mentioned, Australia has retained the Ashes after the draw in Manchester last time out. However, England still has a chance to level the series and claim a 2-2 draw. It goes without saying that the hosts will be eager to make amends for the washout at Old Trafford.

Before I share my final Ashes Test betting pick, let’s find out what the bookies make of the situation. After all, the overall outlook has changed over the course of the series.

Odds and Pick for the Final Ashes Test

  • England (+131) 
  • Australia (+164) 
  • Draw (+296)

As you can see, England (+131) is favored to win the final Ashes Test, leaving Australia (+164) as the underdog. That said, the tight odds suggest that we will see another close-fought battle at the Oval.

Due to England’s all-or-nothing approach, the draw (+296) should only come into play if the weather interferes with the action. For that reason, it makes sense to back one of the teams to win.

In my eyes, England is the best bet for the final Ashes Test. The hosts totally dominated the previous match and deserved to win, but the rain prevented them from leveling the series. With the momentum behind them, Ben Stokes and co will be confident of winning the final Ashes Test. 

Zak Crawley in the The Ashes Cricket Series
Zak Crawley hitting the opening ball in The Ashes

Place Your Bets on the Final Ashes Test

I’m backing England to win the fifth and final Ashes Test. Brendon McCullum’s men have shown great determination to come back from 2-0 down and give themselves a chance to level the series, and their price of +131 looks attractive as a result.

That concludes this week’s cricket roundup, but don’t worry – I’ll be back with more cricket news and betting tips next week. In the meantime, enjoy the final Ashes Test and the Major League Cricket playoffs, and get ready for The Hundred!

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