Today’s match in Cardiff is effectively a straight knock out between South Africa and West Indies. There is plenty of rain in the air, and the possibility of a wash out is a real threat. I expect some play to take place, but will there be enough to constitute a match?
The match betting has South Africa as favourites at 4/6, and West Indies at 6/5.
If the game is a ‘no result,’ then South Africa will go through on net run rate. Not the worst outcome for a team renowned for blowing big matches, and maybe just the stroke of good fortune required to help them on their way to finally burying the ‘chokers’ tag.
In West Indies two games to date, they have been well beat by India, and they had a good go at blowing what should have been a reasonably comfortable run chase against Pakistan, only winning by 2 wickets in the end (chasing 171).
South Africa had a reasonable go at chasing down a large Indian total (331/7) in their first game, but fell short (305). And then restricted Pakistan to 167, while defending a modest total (234) to record their first win, in their second match.
Form says that West Indies batting has failed so far in this competition, and I thought that South Africa bowled poorly against India, although it was improved against Pakistan (who have had no form whatsoever), and they should have Dale Steyn back today.
Can the West Indies batting be totally written off though? We all know what they are capable off, and depending on what time the rain turns up, we could end up with a shortened match of 20-25 overs. And West Indies are current ICC World T20 Champions.
In short, I haven’t a clue what will happen today. Given the unpredictable nature of West Indies, the potential to choke from South Africa, and the British weather thrown into the mix as well, anything is possible.
Onto the outright winner market, and it’s all change again after Sri Lanka’s magnificent win over England yesterday.
Class tells in the end, and with their backs to the wall and in real danger of exiting the competition after just two matches, the class act that is Kumar Sangakkara showed the world why he is one of the best batsmen of his generation with a magnificent 134 not out against a fairly decent English attack.
As a result of yesterday’s defeat England have been pushed out in the betting. They are now third favourites in the outright winner champions trophy betting at 9/2, after having been 11/4 ahead of yesterday’s match.
Sri Lanka are in to 7/1 from 16/1, on the back of that magnificent win. Current ICC 50 Over World Champions, India still head the betting at 7/4.
Champions Trophy Betting
South Africa 7/2
New Zealand 6/1
Sri Lanka 7/1
West Indies 10/1