After a stunning ending to the match between India and Pakistan – which India somehow won despite needing 16 from the last over against the bowling of Mohammad Nawaz – the Super 12s have come alive. The two matches today have interesting storylines, with Bangladesh aiming to prove they were worthy of not having to be in the group stages (despite recent form saying otherwise) and South Africa opening up their 2022 T20 World Cup campaign against Zimbabwe.
Here is a look at the two matches with odds from BetXchange.
Bangladesh VS Netherlands – Bellerive Oval, Hobart
Bangladesh is the heavy favorite here with odds of 1/4 at BetXchange. Going by recent form – and taking the country names out of the equation – it is hard to see why they are favored at all. Bangladesh has played 16 T20Is in 2022 and has lost 11 of them. They could only play one warm-up match to completion, a match they lost to Afghanistan earlier this week. On the other hand, the Netherlands won two of their three group games to reach this stage, dispatching Namibia and UAE before losing to Sri Lanka.
There is only a small sample of head-to-head matches between the full-member nation Bangladesh and the Netherlands. There have been three T20Is between the two to date, with Bangladesh having won two to the Netherlands’ one. It is also worth noting that while the Netherlands hasn’t made it to this stage of a T20 World Cup for eight years, Bangladesh hasn’t won a match at this point in the comp in 15 years. A remarkable run of futility, given their stature in the game. I would have no problem with anyone taking a shot at the Netherlands to win this one.
South Africa VS Zimbabwe – Bellerive Oval, Hobart
South Africa could hardly have asked for a nicer entry to this World Cup than by taking on Zimbabwe. This is a game that the Proteas should win, but there are a couple of reasons to be wary.
The first is that Zimbabwe is now playing with house money. They have never reached this stage of the T20 World Cup before – they didn’t even compete last year due to an ICC suspension – and with wins over Ireland and Scotland under their belt, they will be taking swings against the bigger nations with no fear. Simply, they have already achieved their goals in Australia, and a big scalp – especially of South Africa – would mean everything.
The way for South Africa to win this is to get after Zimbabwe early. They have been losing wickets at an alarming rate during the powerplay – three each against West Indies and Scotland – and their batting lineup will take chances they shouldn’t early in the game.
South Africa has had some issues – losing Rassie van der Dussen and Dwaine Pretorius before the tournament was rough – but this is still a dangerous team sitting fourth in the ICC rankings. The fact they have come into this tournament without the expectations of Australia, England, and India is huge, and getting off to a big early win – which I think they will do – will set the stage for the rest of their World Cup campaign.