The 2022 T20 World Cup is finally here. The format sees eight seeded nations already qualified through to the Super 12 stage, while the eight other teams in the tournament play in two groups of four, with the top two in each group progressing to join the likes of South Africa, India, and Australia.
Group A is where the World Cup will start, with a pair of games hosted at Geelong’s Kardinia Park. Here is a look at them with odds from BetXchange.
Namibia VS Sri Lanka – Kardinia Park, Geelong
Sri Lanka is heavily favored as one of the teams making it out of this group, and as a Full Member nation with a T20 pedigree, they are not used to being in this position. That means they will be short-priced to win all their Group A games, with this opener against Namibia no exception.
Instead of playing the winner, look at some of the prop bets. We mentioned in our preview how Wanindu Hasaranga is the favorite to be the top wicket-taker because the spinner has these three games to rack up a big lead in wickets before the other bowling hitters (outside of the West Indies) get started.
He is 2/1 to be the top bowler in this one, while I like Kusal Mendis at 22/10 to be the top batter. He was the standout performer in their last warm-up match with a half-century knock in their total of 188/5 against Group B team Zimbabwe.
Namibia also has form coming into the World Cup. They beat Ireland in their last warm-up in a match where they bowled out their opponents for 127. This team continues to improve after surprisingly reaching the Super 12s at the last T20 World Cup in Dubai. I don’t think they have enough in their locker t upset Sri Lanka, but this will be a great test of how far they have come, with two winnable games left for them in Group A after this one.
Netherlands VS UAE – Kardinia Park, Geelong
This match should be more competitive than the opener in Group A, with the Netherlands looking to improve on what was a disappointing campaign last year. Eight matches have been played all over Australia, and their bowling attack – loaded with talented seamers – looks much more of a fit for the surfaces they will be playing on than in the UAE in 2021.
Bas de Leede is about to be a breakout star, and I love him at 9/2 to be the top batsman for the Netherlands here. He will come in at No. 3, a spot where he has averaged over a half-century in six innings since the start of 2021. An all-rounder, he is also the second-leading wicket-taker for the Netherlands this year.
The UAE made a weird captaincy change in August, and CP Rizwan is the new skipper. They have also left out the most capped player in their history across all formats in Rohan Mustafa, a move that is either brave or bizarre, depending on how you view it. I like the Netherlands at 8/10 in this one.