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T20 Cricket World Cup Preview: Week 2

THE T20 World Cup is picking up steam, with spots in the semi-finals already being put beyond reach of some teams over the next week. 

Here are the key games to watch out for over the next week.

Australia vs Sri Lanka (Friday, 1am) 

Australia got their tournament off to a somewhat scratchy, yet still positive start with a win over South Africa. The Aussies bowled excellently, with Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood setting the tone, while Glenn Maxwell was also excellent with the ball. 

Their batting lacked punch in a run chase of just 119, although Steve Smith’s 35 off 34 balls showed him in good touch, as did late cameos from Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade who both struck at 150 on a difficult surface. 

Sri Lanka were more convincing off the start line, chasing down 171 against Bangladesh in entirely different conditions. Their bowling was poor and could play Australia’s batting order back into form, but Charith Asalanka (80 off 49 balls) and Bhanuka Rajapaksa (53 off 31 balls) were superb in the run chase against a strong Bangladesh bowling attack. 

Australia go in as favourites, but can’t take Sri Lanka lightly given their ability to score quickly, an area which Australia sometimes struggle to maintain across 20 overs. 

Our pick: Australia in a close one. 

West Indies vs Bangladesh (Friday, 9pm)

Bangladesh may not have been expected to go to any great heights in this tournament, but the same can’t be said for the West Indies. Instead of flying off the start line though, they crumbled against England in their tournament opener. 

Being rolled for just 55 was a horrendous effort, although one would expect them to hit back given the inconsistency they so often bat with. Their bowling was solid in picking up four wickets though, led by Akeal Hosein with 2 for 24 from four overs. That bowling will need to be excellent again in slowing down Shakib Al Hasan and the Bengali batting line up who posted 171 against the Sri Lankans. 

All in all though, this should be an easier task for the West Indies who should pick up the win. 

England vs Australia (Sunday, 1am) 

There will be little rest for the Aussies as they prepare to take on the old enemy in their third match of the tournament. England’s bowling attack is likely to test them far more than Sri Lanka’s will in the second game, as evidence with the Poms routing of the West Indies for 55 in their tournament opener. 

The English also possess some of the cleanest hitting in the world, and while the pressure is on after losing four wickets in that run chase, it’s hard to know what to make of it. Still, given how poorly Mitchell Starc bowled in the first game, and the form of Jos Buttler, who hit 24 from 22 balls, it’s a cause for concern for the Aussies. 

This could be a game won on the early momentum, given the even match up across the board, and starting slowly is simply not an option. One would also suspect Australia will also need Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis to go big in the middle order to have a chance. 

Our pick: England should hand Australia their first loss here. 

India vs New Zealand (Monday, 1am) 

New Zealand are always something of a dark horse when it comes to ICC tournaments, and that is no exception here. Their warm-up form was solid enough, but taking on the tournament favourites in what are essentially conditions they could have gone out and designed will be a major challenge. 

In saying that, Kane Williamson is among the world’s best players of spin, and will need to be at his best if the Black Caps are going to score enough runs in this match. India, on the other hand, are led by the likes of Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant with the bat, while the all-round work of Ravindra Jadeja is also critical. 

They were thrashed by Pakistan in their tournament opener, but coming in as favourites to take out the whole show, it was only their bowling which will need to pick up. It’s extremely difficult to keep the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar down two games in a row, so expect India to bounce back. 


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