Disheartened England to give fans one last show against Dutch
England officially cannot make it to the semi-finals of the World Twenty20 anymore, following their agonising three-run defeat to South Africa (7/2 tournament second-favourites) in the last match-up.
The final battle of their group, however, is against cricketing minnows the Netherlands. Ashley Giles’ men are heavily odds-on for victory here at 1/7 as they fight now for pride rather than progress to the next stage.
Batting has not been an issue for England this tournament, as they have recorded scores of 172, 190 and 193 in the three matches played so far, but the fact they have won just once shows how poor the bowling has been.
Opener Alex Hales, the hero in the thrilling six wicket defeat of Sri Lanka (4/1 trophy chances), top scored again against the South Africans – with 38 off 22 balls – and can be backed at 11/4 to be the best batsman for his team once more against the Dutch.
Nottinghamshire’s Hales became the first England player ever in Twenty20 international matches to score a century – getting an unbeaten 116 – and is also just 56 runs off another record, to reach 1000 runs in this form of the game. Only Kevin Pietersen and Eoin Morgan (9/2 to top score) have achieved that feat so far.
England will also be hoping Ravi Bopara (8/1) can keep up his impressive recent Twenty20 international record. The Essex all-rounder has averaged 46.5 since the start of 2013.
The Netherlands are looking for their first win in Group 1, and will look to replicate their performance against South Africa when they finished just six runs short of their opponents’ total, after being in a strong position.
Coral price them at 9/2 for victory, and will be relying on their Australian–born star player Tom Cooper. The 27-year-old has averaged an impressive 74.3 from his six innings (with 223 runs) in the tournament so far, and is favourite at 11/4 to be top Netherlands batsman again.
Meanwhile, the underdogs also possess the leading wicket taker in this World Twenty20 so far (including from the tournament qualifiers) in Ahsan Malik. His figures of 5-19 against South Africa have put him on 12 wickets in total, and he is priced at 10/3 to be top bowler for his side again.