Group A sprung the first shock of the 2022 T20 World Cup in the opening game as 7/1 underdogs Namibia rose up and turned over much fancied Sri Lanka. This means that their match with the Netherlands – winners over UAE – will see the winner almost certainly moving through to the Super 12s, while UAE and Sri Lanka play each other in the second game in a must-win situation for each nation.
Here is a look at the two matches with odds from BetXchange.
Namibia VS Netherlands – Kardinia Park, Geelong
The result of the opening day matches has certainly made Round 2 of Group A fascinating. They have no real history to speak of in the format – they have played two T20Is to date with one win each – but the fact that the winner of this has one foot in the Super 12s means that this is by far the most critical match ever played between the two cricketing minnows.
Namibia has the upper hand heading into this. Their win over much-fancied Sri Lanka means that a win over either the Netherlands or the UAE will put them in a great position to make it out of Group A. The Netherlands got the win they had to against UAE, but with Sri Lanka coming, they will be desperate for a win on Tuesday.
The Netherlands were smart in their win over UAE, and they will have to be the same here. Max O’Dowd was great during the powerplay, which became vital when the Netherlands lost wickets in bunches during the chase. Bas de Leede needs to improve, while players like Tom Cooper and Colin Ackermann have the experience to improve. Namibia’s hero in Round 1 was Jan Frylinck, who hit 44 from 28 balls to give them a total to defend. He also took a pair of wickets in a tremendous all-around showing.
Namibia is favorite here, but I like the Netherlands. I worry Namibia is getting too much of a bump from their initial win.
Sri Lanka VS UAE – Kardinia Park, Geelong
Sri Lanka has developed a habit of playing from behind in white ball series. This is a World Cup as opposed to a series, but they seem to be doing the same thing here after their shocking loss at the hands of Namibia. In many ways, it is similar to what happened at the Asia Cup, a tournament they eventually won after losing first to Afghanistan. They now face UAE in a match where the loser is eliminated from the tournament before even reaching the final group stage game.
I wouldn’t expect many changes to the team. Defeats happen in sports – especially in this 20-over format – and if one or two players are having a bad day (or are just unlucky), the match can slip away before you even realize it. I expect Sri Lanka to come out firing here and for their focus to be better. There is plenty of experience in this side to not fade out of the tournament, and I think they convincingly beat UAE here.