Two of the three remaining games are on tap from Group 1 today, as Australia and New Zealand are heavy favorites to take care of business against Afghanistan and Ireland, respectively.
Here is a look at the latest Group 1 games with odds from BetXchange.
Ireland VS New Zealand – Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
New Zealand are 1/9 to win this but should we count out an Ireland side that has already played well above their ranking to beat both England and the West Indies?
New Zealand currently tops Group 1 on net run rate as they are tied on five points each with England and Australia. Their NRR is comfortably better than the other two countries, so any result that leaves them tied with either (or both) will work in their favor. Ireland has three points – and the worst NRR in the group – so nothing short of a miracle set of results will get them through to the semi-final.
They can, however, play spoiler against a Black Caps side that should already have a knouckout round spot locked up but for an untimely collapse agianst England that threw the group wide opne.
New Zealand has been dominant in the late overs when setting a target for an opponent to chase. That will be the strategy they want to use here, because when asked to run down an England total they played in a more timid fashion. Thier top three hasn’t performed – Devon Conway had all but four of his runs in a single innings – but it is time for one of them to break out. Conway scores in bunches (26/10 for top batsman) and Finn Allen (33/10) has the aggression to top score.
Ireland hasn’t had the batting in the Super 12s to really test sides – Locan Tucker did produce a monster 71 against Australia to keep that match competitive – and Trent Boult (26/10 to be top bowler) is going to have a big game here.
Afghanistan VS Australia – Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
The hosts are in trouble. Their NRR is catastrophically worse than New Zealand, but England – who play Sri Lanka in their final game – are somewhat catchable. The arithmatic is comlicated, but the basics are that the Aussies have to either thrash the only team in the group that is eliminated with one match to go.
If Australia bats first, the total has to be high. They are – give or take – 62 runs behind England in NRR – so a big score and keeping the Afghan chase low would work. If they bowl first, then the technique qould be to hold Afghanistan low before chasing them down in a dozen overs of less.
This will make for a thrilling match. Australia has to create some kind of target to put fear into England. It doesn’t help that captain Aaron Finch and heavy hitter Tim David have hamstring issues and are doubts for the game. It also doesn’t help that Australia has proven weaker against spin than pace, something Afghanistan will throw at them. Given the situation at hand, a bet to nothing on a hundred to be scored at 8/1 is interesting.