World T20: England in South Africa showdown, neighbours New Zealand and Australia meet
Simon Sinclair | March 17, 2016
England v South Africa
- ICC World Twenty20, Match 18
- Friday, March 18th
- Play starts: 14:00 GMT
- The Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
- Live on Sky Sports 2
England face crucial South Africa showdown
England lock horns once again with South Africa staring down the prospect of an early elimination from the 2016 ICC World Twenty20.
Eoin Morgan’s side were crushed by a brutal onslaught from centurion Chris Gayle in a six-wicket defeat to the West Indies in their opener in Mumbai.
As a result, England have a lot of work to do against a familiar opponent in the Proteas to salvage their future in the competition.
Hales to find rhythm
Alex Hales made 28 from 26 balls in his team’s total of 182, but never managed to find his rhythm at the crease.
The 27-year-old has provided impetus at the start of the innings on many occasions, although in Mumbai he failed to find his form despite an early flurry of boundaries off Samuel Badree.
Hales is a vital player at the top of the order and, when he scores at a fast rate, it benefits not only the total but eases the pressure on players such as Jos Buttler and Morgan in the middle order.
The opener performed well against the Proteas in South Africa, so Trevor Bayliss will be hopeful that he can repeat his success and fire his team to an imposing total.
At 11/4 with Coral, Hales makes a good bet to lead England in the run column, while there are also odds of 13/2 for him to top score and guide his side to the win.
Rashid to learn from Gayle lesson
Adil Rashid learned the hard way at the hands of Gayle the perils of facing quality players in a major tournament.
The Yorkshireman snagged the wicket of Marlon Samuels but, after being dispatched by Gayle for two big sixes he was pulled from attack after bowling just two overs.
England cannot afford to have Rashid out of the rotation in favourable conditions for the leg-spinner, with a need to return to form a must against the Proteas.
Like Hales, the 28-year-old performed well in South Africa and at 3/1 is backed to rack up the wickets to get his team back on track in the competition.
De Villiers itching to make his mark
AB de Villiers will have watched Gayle’s destruction of the England attack with the prelude of taking them to task once again in Mumbai on Friday.
The 32-year-old blitzed the same bowlers with a dominating innings of 71 from 29 deliveries last month in Johannesburg.
He has vast experience in Indian conditions due to his time in the IPL and will have no problem finding his feet against a familiar opponent.
De Villiers has odds of 5/2 to blast England around The Wankhede Stadium, while an enticing option could be for him to top score and lead the Proteas to victory at 11/2.
Tahir aiming to be England’s nemesis again
Imran Tahir terrorised Morgan’s men in their T20 clash at Cape Town, notching career-best figures of 4/21, guiding his team to a three-wicket win.
The 36-year-old has displayed that he can be a hit-and-miss bowler but, when he gets into a rhythm the leg-spinner has proven to be extremely potent.
In favourable conditions Tahir is good value at 11/4 to strike frequently in Mumbai to put England in trouble once again.
Australia v New Zealand
- ICC World Twenty20, Match 17
- Friday, March 18th
- Play starts: 9:30 GMT
- Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamshala
- Live on Sky Sports 2
New Zealand aim to build on impressive win
Australia enter the fray in the ICC World Twenty20 against a New Zealand side fresh off a huge victory over India.
The Baggy Greens are yet to win the competition and will be desperate for success, but will face a huge challenge against the Black Caps.
Kane Williamson’s side used their spinners to great effect against the host nation and will be eyeing another major scalp to all but secure their place in the latter stages of the tournament.
Warner to dominate at the top
On his day David Warner has the ability to destroy any bowling attack in world cricket, boasting impressive strike rates in all forms of the game.
Despite his array of outstanding statistics, the 29-year-old has yet to score an international T20 hundred, although he has scored two in the IPL along with 23 half-centuries.
His experience will be crucial to a youthful Australian side and a strong start at the top of the innings could be crucial to their success in the competition.
Warner has odds of 7/2 to top score for the Aussies in Dharamshala, while another luring option could be an enhanced wincast of 13/2 of leading Steve Smith’s men to victory.
Will Zampa be thrown into the lineup?
Young leg-spinner Adam Zampa was a surprise addition to Australia’s 16-man squad for the competition.
The 23-year-old has played well enough during his time in the Big Bash to warrant selection, but will be under pressure to deliver in turning conditions.
Zampa will be under-the-radar as many players will not have faced him before, which could lead to the element of surprise with little time for batsmen to prepare during the competition. He has outside odds of 9/2 to stun the Black Caps with a dominating performance with the ball.
Williamson to bounce back against Aussies
The Black Caps skipper had a match to forget against India despite his side’s astonishing victory over the host nation.
Williamson struggled on the turning track in Nagpur, making just eight runs from 16 deliveries before falling to the part-time spin of Suresh Raina.
However, the 25-year-old has proven calibre against Australia in limited overs cricket and will be eager to bounce back against the Baggy Greens’ inexperienced attack.
He will be a solid option to lead New Zealand in the run column at 11/4, and 8/1 to fire his side to their second victory on the bounce.
Santner to build on impressive start
Santner produced an outstanding performance on his first start in the World T20 being the main architect behind India’s demise in the opening match of the Super 10.
The 24-year-old notched figures of 4-11 by taking advantage of favourable conditions in Nagpur, taking the key wickets of Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni and Raina.
He will now be expected to play a key role against the Aussies by holding down an end and striking with regularity to guide his team towards the next round of the competition.
Santner has odds of 9/2 to be the Black Caps’ top marksman, which will be a good bet considering his opening display.