Australia and Pakistan are in action in the Cricket World Cup at Taunton on Wednesday with Australia looking to bounce straight back from defeat to India at the weekend.
Australia’s first defeat of the tournament came on Sunday when they came out the wrong side of a high profile match up with India by 36 runs at The Oval. India won what many perceived to be a crucial toss, Kohli opted to bat first and India piled on 352/5. In the chase the top 4 in the Australian order all made runs although Warner’s 56 took all of 84 balls and Australia were always behind the asking rate. Finch was starting to motor when he was run out for 36, Steve Smith top scored with 69 and Khawaja made 42. There was a flurry at the end from Alex Carey (55 not out off 35 balls) but Australia came up short and they now have 2 wins and 1 defeat against their name.
Earlier in the tournament Australia completed a routine 7 wicket victory over Afghanistan at Bristol before getting the better of a ding dong battle with West Indies at Nottingham by 15 runs.
Steve Smith is leading run scorer for Australia with 160 runs, David Warner and has made 148 and Aaron Finch has 108. With the ball Starc has taken 7 wickets, Cummins has 6 and Stoinis and Zampa both have 4.
Australia are now trading at around 7/2 to win the tournament, 15/10 to reach the final and 3/10 to reach the semi finals
This was how Australia lined up against India on Sunday.
Aaron Finch (capt), David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa
Pakistan’s third outing of the tournament would have been against Sri Lanka in Bristol on Friday last week however rain saw the match abandoned without a ball being bowled.
Pakistan’s first two matches were staged in Nottingham and they were like chalk and cheese in terms of results. They started with a 7 wicket defeat to West Indies after being bowled out for just 105 in 21.4 overs. Their second match came against tournament favourites England, Pakistan were very much the underdogs having lost a recent series to England 4-0 but they turned it all around with a 14 run victory.
The top 5 in their batting order all made useful runs against the hosts with the top scores coming from Mohammad Hafeez (84) and Babar Azam (63) as Pakistan posted a bat first total of 348/8. England were still favourites to chase it down at the innings break, Root and Buttler both made centuries but Pakistan took other key wickets cheaply and England’s innings closed on 334/9. Wahab Riaz took 3 wickets and there were 2 a piece for Amir and Shadab Khan.
Pakistan are now trading at around 20/1 to win the tournament, 7/1 to reach the final and 11/4 to reach the semi finals.
Mohammad Hafeez is leading run scorer for Pakistan with 100 runs in the tournament so far, Babar Azam has a total of 85. Mohammad Amir is leading wicket taker with 5 and Wahab Riaz has 3.
This was how Pakistan lined up against England.
Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfaraz Ahmed (capt & wk), Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir
Head to Head
The teams have met 103 times with Australia winning 67, Pakistan have won 32 with 1 tie and 3 no results,
The teams met in a 5 match series in UAE in March this year and Australia completed a 5-0 clean sweep.
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Note prices quoted are correct at the time of publication but are subject to change.
You have to respect Pakistan’s win over England but the subsequent wash out against Sri Lanka did them no favours and it’s been over a week since they last played.
I take the view Australia will have too much for Pakistan and the betting interest comes in the Man of the Match market where I will go with one batsman and one bowler. Pat Cummins is the go to bowler. He was the only member of the Australian attack to keep the lid on the scoring rate against India and he could be a handful here.
For a batsman I don’t want to look too far down the order and I’ll go with Steve Smith who should come in at number 3.
Man of the Match Pat Cummins at 12/1
Man of the Match Steve Smith at 10/1