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In cricket the batting side play in pairs to score runs and these pairs are called partnerships. The opening partnership is the first one of an innings between the number one and two batsmen – the openers.
These two players are usually the most talented in the team, and are expected to post a high score before the first wicket falls to end the opening partnership and start the next.
The opening partnership – sometimes referred to as the first wicket partnership – bet can be applied to all formats of cricket and is a popular market. Although there is the possibility of some kind of over/under market relating to the opening partnership, the bet is usually a choice between the two competing sides or a tie.
In one day internationals and Twenty20 cricket the opening partnership bet is predicting which team will score the most runs before losing a wicket and is only voided if a requisite amount of overs are not played due to weather or other circumstances. In test cricket the opening partnership bet normally relates to the first innings only.
An example of the open partnership bet would be choosing either Australia or England to score the highest number of runs before losing their first wicket. The odds are generally quite short and similar for both sides – with the odds on the tie being longer due to the infrequency of that outcome.
Betting on the opening partnership can be regarded as a game of chance as there is no set rule that even the best players will make high total every time. But anyone betting on South Africa over Bangladesh in a test match in 2008 would have been happy as Graeme Smith and Neil MacKenzie scored the highest ever opening partnership of 415. Unfortunately South Africa would have been heavily fancied to win the match so the odds would have been fairly short.