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The top team bowler refers to the bowler who takes the most wickets for a particular team during the course of a match. In most cricket matches this will be expected to be the opening bowler, who will have been chosen because of their suitability for the conditions or the batsman being faced. On top of this, the format of the match might make a difference. In a T20 match, for example, opening batsmen are trying to score quickly, which may make then more susceptible, increasing the likelihood that the first man up to bowl will be the top team bowler.
A bet placed on top team bowler can apply to an entire series, a match or an individual innings. It’s vital to ensure exactly which is the case when the bet is made, and also that the bet isn’t placed on top match bowler, which includes bowlers from both teams rather than the one you’ve decided to bet on. It’s also probably wise to wait until the line ups have been announced to make a bet of this kind, as a player not bowling because they’ve been dropped instantly means that it is a losing bet. Also of vital importance for bets of this kind are the conditions and the wicket. Spin bowlers, in particular, achieve better results in specific conditions, and the fact that a wicket might be breaking up at a certain stage in the match will also have an effect on the success they achieve. There are usually conditions applied to a top team bowler bet, as there are to top team batsmen bets. These usually include a minimum required number of overs, unless a team is bowled out, and the fact that if two players score the same number, the result will be declared a dead heat.
In the event of a dead heat, the initial stake will be halved, and the bet paid out on that basis. For example, a successful £10 bet on Adil Rashid to be top team bowler at 3/1 will pay out £40 – a profit of £30 – if he is top bowler with 5 wickets. If, however, Ben Stokes also takes 5 wickets, the result will be declared a dead heat, and the bet will return £20, a profit on only £15.