It is a loaded day at the T20 Cricket World Cup with South African playing their second match of the competition against Bangladesh as one of three contests on tap. The other two see the Netherlands facing India and Pakistan meeting Zimbabwe.
Here is a look at the three Group 2 games with odds from BetXchange.
South Africa VS Bangladesh – SCG, Sydney
The Bangladesh camp has been very smart in pushing the pressure on South Africa before this match. Captain Shakib al Hasan has not been shy in pointing out that South Africa has just one point after a draw was called in their match against Zimbabwe, with rain stopping their (likely successful) chase. On the other hand, Bangladesh won their opening game, beating an in-form Netherlands side.
Realistically the battle for second place in this pool – and a semi-final spot – should come down to South Africa and Pakistan behind India. The first step is a big win here that will boost their net run rate. Look for Lungi Ngidi to attack from ball one, with the best bowler on the Proteas squad needing to take wickets early. I like South Africa to win and Ngidi or Anrich Nortje to lead the bowling.
Netherlands VS India – SCG, Sydney
Those odds are just wild in a result that (barring rain) can only go in two directions. This will be the first-ever meeting between the two teams, with the Netherlands working their way into Group 2 through the earlier group stages.
The Netherlands could have (and maybe should have) beaten Bangladesh if not for some simple wicket-running errors. India looked like they hadn’t done enough against Pakistan before a monster final over saw them get the 16 runs needed to win. This is an Indian team playing with confidence and skill, and they will win this at a canter.
As for props., Suryakumar Yadav can pile on runs in a hurry – especially against lower-order bowlers – so I like him to be the top run-getter for India. I feel like his fourth favorite price of 5/1 is very undervalued. Max O’Dowd is the only batsman firing consistently for the Netherlands, so he is worth a punt for the underdogs at 33/10.
Pakistan VS Zimbabwe – Perth Stadium, Perth
Pakistan knows their next two T20 World Cup games will be key for their chances of progressing to the semi-finals. Their late, demoralizing defeat by India has somewhat removed their margin of error. Big wins against Zimbabwe here and then against the Netherlands will create a huge clash with South Africa later in Group 2.
New run rate will have to be on their mind, with the knowledge that they have a step up on the Proteas after their one-point rainout against these same opponents. It will be interesting to see if the less-than-full-fit Shaheen Shah Afridi will be risked here or if Pakistan saves him for bigger upcoming contests. Either way, they will have far too much for a Zimbabwe team that South Africa was all over before the rain came.