Anyone who spends time in the Goodforthegame forum or is on my mailing list will know that I was heavily invested in an Australia series win against the Proteas. I also backed them to win the 1st test and that really should have been it for me as anymore down on them would have seen me seriously exposed.
Now I am not the sort of punter to place bets at very short odds but there was a point in the Australian first innings where I thought I had come across an absolute gift from the bookmakers. The Aussies had ground their way past 300 on a slow and turning wicket, scoring runs was difficult and I made up my mind that there were now only two possible outcomes, an Australian win or a draw.
I happened to have my WSB account open and was tracking the live betting when I noticed odds of 1/4 or 0.25/1 on Australia in the “Double Chance” market. This meant that I could get a 25% return on investment in 3 days if I was correct and that the Proteas had no chance of winning.
I lumped on the remainder of my betting balance and as Australia continued to dominate I felt very relaxed in the knowledge that I would be collecting come Monday. When the Proteas were set over 400 to win I actually stopped watching and only tuned in again when we were 5 wickets down with Markram and De Kock at the crease.
As far as I was concerned the match was over and I paid little attention to it for a few hours. It was probably just as well as when I checked back Markram had only just been dismissed for a magnificent century and the Proteas had gone from not having a chance to 2/1 shots to win the match just prior to the Markram wicket.
Starc came on and finished the job and I could breath easy again but the old adage “there is no such thing as a sure thing” certainly came to mind. Had I been watching the massive 6th wicket partnership I would have been a nervous wreck and it is probably just as well I was distracted by other sport that was on at the time.
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This article was written for the CitiGaming supplement of the Citizen Newspaper and was published on the 8th of March 2018.