AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR PREVIEW: West Indies v Bangladesh

We’re only on match 23 of the 48 scheduled to take place during this World Cup but some teams are already playing knockout cricket and that could well be the case for the West Indies and Bangladesh today.

Australia currently lead the race for the semi-finals, but other rivals such as New Zealand and England are beginning to get away from the rest and even the winner of this contest could still be three points behind the pace, whilst also having played a game more, and the loser could well be out with more than half the tournament to go.

The market fancies West Indies to get the better of Bangladesh, but 4/9 does not make a lot of appeal given the varied results the Windies have had so far in this tournament. They started brilliantly, tearing through Pakistan for just 107 before an easy seven wicket win, and then they set themselves up by restricting Australia to a very competitive total.

However, the quality of the Australian bowling line up was too much for them and England dominated after an early Chris Gayle reprieve, with the West Indies collapsing from 144/3 in the 30th over to 212 all out in the 45th before England easily achieved their total.

Bangladesh also started well, firstly outgunning South Africa at the Oval before they pushed New Zealand right to the very limit in a fantastic game. They were also well beaten by England, but there was no shame in their batting total of 280 even if they couldn’t prevent the hosts walloping them for 386.

Their respective performances against England, and strong bating totals so far, suggest that Bangladesh can make this a good deal closer than the markets suggest. They beat West Indies three times in the recent Irish Tri-Nations series in very similar conditions and the 7/4 that they can cause a minor upset feels perhaps too big in what could end up being a far tighter game.

Their top order has brought their A-game, led by Shakib Al Hasan, one of the tournament’s top scorers, and he might well be vital to their prospects once again.

The all-rounder has started the tournament on fire, with 75 against South Africa, 64 against New Zealand (which made the game competitive) and then a brilliant 121 against England which kept the game alive for much of their innings. He’s been unlucky not to top score for his country three times and the 10/3 on him doing so once again appears to be fair.

For the Windies, many will be backing Chris Gayle but Niall Pooran has scored more than him so far in the tournament and Shai Hope too has shown decent touches, and it might be that this race is best left alone.

RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)
BACK Shakib Al Hasan Bangladesh Top Runscorer 1 pt at 7/2 with
BACK Bangladesh 2 pts at 7/4 with

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