So the group stages of the Cricket World Cup are done and we’re now down to four teams as we approach the semifinals, played on Wednesday and Thursday. First up, let’s look at the latest T20 Cricket World Cup odds on the winner market before we move on to our T20 World Cup best bets and betting tips.
Cricket World Cup Semifinal Best Bets
England Vs New Zealand: Wednesday, November 10, Abu Dhabi
Eoin Morgan’s team finally suffered defeat in their last group game against South Africa, having won their first four. They set a decent total, but it exposed a weakness in their armor: they can chase anything but are less comfortable defending totals, especially if they’re par scores or just above par. In truth, some credit must go to South Africa, who were aggressive all the way through and consistently managed to find the boundary when they needed to.
But worse than the defeat, which made little difference as they won the group anyway, was the loss of Jason Roy, who picked up an injury that has now ruled him out of the tournament. They’ll mostly likely bring in James Vince from the cold and open with him, or bat him at three and open with Jonny Bairstow. They’ve already lost fast bowler Tymal Mills to injury, so it’s far from ideal.
The Kiwis bounced back extremely well from an opening game defeat to Pakistan and won their next four games, all of them quite comfortably, as well. They’re a very unfussy side, mostly devoid of big stars, and do all the basics well. Opener Martin Guptill has got them off to fast starts, Kane Williamson has played the anchor role well and the likes of Jimmy Neesham has hit boundaries in the death overs.
With the ball, Trent Boult and Tim Southee have made early inroads while spinners Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner have kept the runs down with spin. Above all, their fielding has been exceptional, stopping runs and taking just about every catch that’s come their way. Catches win matches, as they say.
Best Bet: New Zealand To Win @ +145 With Betway
It’s not worth overcomplicating this one. Many will be aware that England beat the Black Caps convincingly in the semifinal stage of the 2016 World Cup. And that England holds a 13-7 head-to-head record against them across all matches they’ve played against each other. They also famously beat New Zealand in that dramatic Super Over in the final of the 2019 ODI World Cup.
But you have to question the relevance of all that ahead of this one, rather than dwell on the past. The biggest factor of all is that winning the toss and chasing will have a huge bearing on the game. If England chases, then it may be very hard work for New Zealand. But if the toss goes their way, they’ll practically be favorites before the first ball is bowled.
They match each other in the bowling department and are probably the better in the field. Fine, England is stronger when it comes to batting, so they can have that one. But then again, New Zealand are big outsiders at generous Cricket World Cup odds, so it’s an easy choice to make.
Pakistan Vs Australia: Wednesday, November 10, Dubai
Pakistan is the only side to have won all of their five group games, so it’s a bit surprising that the latest Cricket World Cup odds have them as second-favorites, rather than outright favorites. One of the secrets to their success has been that they’ve been able to field the same XI throughout the whole tournament and will surely do so here again.
At the top of the innings, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan have been excellent while all of Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik and Asif Ali have played important innings at one stage or another down the order.
They also have the bowling department more than covered with a combination of pace and spin, where Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali and Imad Wasim have shown knowledge of UAE conditions to bowl the right lengths and consistently take wickets, while boasting fine economy rates. So, they really do tick all the boxes.
To many, it’s a surprise that they’ve even gotten this far. There were question marks over the form of the likes of Aaron Finch and David Warner, while others felt Steve Smith shouldn’t be on the team at all, on the back of a low strike rate in the format over the past couple of years.
But they’ve proved everyone wrong, with Warner in particular scoring plenty of runs, while Finch has made some good starts and Mitch Marsh has often come in and smashed a few boundaries to prove there’s more to their lineup than just a pair of in-form openers.
But it’s been perhaps with the ball that they’ve been most impressive, with Josh Hazlewood and Adam Zampa particularly good. They may, however, have a slight issue in terms of a fifth bowler and Pakistan may look to target Glenn Maxwell and Marsh when they come on to bowl. The other option is to play a second spinner in Ashton Agar but that would mean sacrificing a batsman to make way for him.
Best Bet: Back Mitch Marsh To Be Top Australia Batsman @ +375 With Betway
When Australia did play Agar (against England), it was Mitch Marsh who was sacrificed so they could play his Perth Scorchers teammate. Bad move. Marsh showed brilliant form against the West Indies in the Caribbean before the World Cup but has had limited opportunities here. He missed that one game and Australia promoted other players ahead of him in another, so he didn’t bat in that one, either.
He finished off the game with a quick 16 not out against Bangladesh and went one better with a rapid 50 off 32 against the West Indies to prove he’s ready to make the most of his chance here. And he should get a big chance to prove his worth here. With Pakistan’s excellent bowling attack, you’d think they’d get one of Warner or Finch early. And then it’s Marsh coming in at three.
+375 is a very decent price on an in-form player coming in at three who boasts a high career strike rate. Cricket World Cup odds have Australia as outsiders here and that looks justified, but Marsh may just remind us what he’s all about.
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ICC World Cup News
Odds Shark Staff Thu, Feb 17, 9:14amICC World Cup