The second Super 12 T20 World Cup match on Friday features hosts Australia against England in Melbourne and with both teams already having tasted defeat this is a crucial fixture and tensions will be running high.
Australia currently sit 5th on the log with 1 win and 1 loss and England are level with them on points but above on run rate sitting 3rd on the table.
Australia’s campaign got off to the worst possible start when they were beaten by 89 runs by New Zealand, getting bowled out for 111 while chasing 201 for victory. They bounced back strongly in the next game against Sri Lanka though after winning the toss and sending their opponents into bat. Sri Lanka made it to 157 for 6 in their 20 overs. There were solid bowling performances by Mitch Starc and Ashton Agar. Agar came on at a crucial time and slowed the run rate down while also picking up a wicket.
Australia’s response was a bit wobbly at times and Captain, Aaron Finch looked out of nick, scoring 31 not out off 42 balls. Fortunately for him though Marcus Stoinis was on fire leading Australia to a comfortable victory with his 59 not out off 18 balls. The runs were reached with 3.5 overs and 7 wickets in hand.
England beat a game Afghanistan team in their opening match chasing down a 113 required for victory in the penultimate over and with 5 wickets in hand. They were then stunned by Ireland in a rain shortened game where they won the toss and decided to field first. They restricted Ireland to 157 all out, just shy of 20 overs and Livingstone and Wood both picked up 3 wickets.
Rain was unfortunately to have a say in the match and England’s chase never really got going and they eventually finished on 105 for 5 after 14.3 overs resulting in a victory to Ireland by 5 runs on the Duckworth Lewis method. Malan top scored with 35, but at less than a run a ball, something which ultimately cost his team and there was a quick fire 24 not out at a strike rate of 200 from Moeen Ali.
These sides have played 23 T20 matches with a pretty even split between them, Australia winning 10 and England 11. Australia have won 7 of the 13 matches on home soil.
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BETTING – Click here to bet
The loser of this game is going to be under tremendous pressure to make it through to the semi-finals, most likely they will need other results in the pool to go their way, this is a game I won’t be missing and I will be looking for in-running betting options over and above my pre-match picks below.
Suggested Bet: England win at 1/1
I also give England that performance against Ireland as rain shortened games often turn out to be something of a lottery. They have an excellent T20 squad and for me there is just a few weaknesses in the Australian side, particular an out-of-sorts Finch at the top of the order.
As mentioned above there are in-running options and this could be a game to wait for betting value as there are bound to be significant fluctuations in the betting.
Suggested Bet: Aaron Finch, Total Runs under 19.5 at 17/20
Finch has come in for a lot of stick for his out-of-sorts slow innings against Sri Lanka and although he could argue that by holding his wicket he allowed others to bat around him I think he is going to be feeling the pressure and I am expecting him to play some rash shots early on, hopefully for the sake of this bet leading to his demise.
Note: All prices correct at the time of writing but are subject to change