- ICC Men’s T20 World Cup
- Friday 4 November, 2022
- Ireland v New Zealand, Australia v Afghanistan
- Adelaide Oval (4am-8am UK)
England still have to beat Sri Lanka in Sydney on Saturday to ensure qualification for the semi-finals, but victories for either Ireland or Afghanistan - even better, both - would certainly help smooth the passage.
In this order, net run-rate in brackets, New Zealand (2.223), England (0.547) and Australia (-0.304) all sit on five points after four games at the top of Group One. Two qualify, and there is every chance it is going to come down to net run-rate.
Let’s face it, New Zealand are likely to beat Ireland, Australia will surely do the same against Afghanistan and England will probably beat Sri Lanka. If you did fancy the short price treble, it’s available at marginally better than 1/2 with Unibet.
I’d prefer to look for some better value.
England will have nothing more than one eye on action from Adelaide. The most realistic hope is for Afghanistan to limit the damage against the Aussies to ensure England go into Saturday with a better net run-rate so that a straight win will seal a semi-final spot.
For that to happen, it is thought Afghanistan need to avoid a 50-60 run margin of defeat or stop the hosts chasing a target in around 15 overs.
Ireland v New Zealand, Adelaide Oval, 4am
Ladbrokes are offering 2/1 on standout Ireland seamer Josh Little to take over 1.5 wickets in this fixture.
The left-armer has struck eight times in six games whilst Down Under, including an early three-wicket haul against Zimbabwe and two wickets in each of his last two games against England and Australia.
Just as Ireland will be hoping to go out with a bang, so too will this impressive left-armer who could well be featuring in plenty of overseas domestic leagues this winter.
I would be more than happy to take on that 2/1 on Little to go large.
Kiwi opener Finn Allen has had a lot of starts without going on in recent months. Yorkshire fans will tell you that, as will New Zealanders.
He has often looked good without capitalising. But he is capable of the spectacular when he gets going.
He has one T20 International century to his name - 101 against Scotland at Edinburgh in July - and is an appealing 7/2 to be his country’s top batter in this fixture with Betfred.
Australia v Afghanistan, Adelaide Oval, 8am
David Warner has had a poor couple of weeks. In three innings, he has posted scores of five, 11 and three. He’s too good for that to continue, surely!
When it comes to assessing my sport over the years - and not just cricket - I’ve always been somebody who has been open to the law of averages. Ie. At some point, Warner will produce something.
And I can see it being this fixture.
I would be keen to take up Betfair’s price boost of 11/4 on him to be Australia’s top batter in this fixture.
I’m also interested in the Ladbrokes price boost of 4/1 on him to hit three or more sixes against an Afghanistan attack who aren’t guaranteed to have Rashid Khan available after he picked up a knee injury in their defeat against Sri Lanka last time out.
Warner averages just over one six per appearance through his 335-game T20 career. But I can see him bettering that average here in a key clash.
Century possible in both fixtures
I would also be interested in a century to be scored in both matches at a venue where I have seen a few in the Big Bash previously. Travis Head scored one on New Year’s Eve a few years back, his Adelaide Strikers team-mate Jake Weatherald also scored one there in a final.
If New Zealand or Australia bat first, I can certainly see it happening, particularly for the latter, who will want to go hard and rack up a mammoth total in order to boost their run-rate.
In the Ireland v New Zealand game, bet365 are offering 8/1 on a century to be scored. In the Australia v Afghanistan, the same company are offering 9/1.
I’d say it’s more likely in the Aussie game, but I would be spreading small stakes across both games. For the really adventurous amongst you, you may have a dabble on the double!
* Betting odds correct at the time of publication. All odds are subject to changes.