T20 World Cup Betting: Sri Lanka v South Africa, Australia v West Indies

Darren Bravo is a class performer

Two mouthwatering ties in Hambantota and Colombo today as the tournament hots up. Ed Hawkins picks out the best bets from both games

"We are far more impressed with West Indies' collection of thrash and bash players"

West Indies at 2.0621/20

Sri Lanka v South Africa
Start time: 11am
TV: Sky Sports 1

Sri Lanka
The hosts eased into the tournament with a routine victory over Zimbabwe and we are grateful for this contest, the first genuine head-to-head so far. Kumar Sangakkara and Jeevan Mendis showed good form with the bat against Zimbabwe at Nos 4 and 5 respectively. That will have cheered Sri Lanka as in the past often middle- and lower-order batsmen have had little time in the middle in the group stages of one-day tournaments.

South Africa
It was only Zimbabwe but the Proteas looked a potentially dominant force. They won by ten wickets with Richard Levi and Hashim Amla finishing the job after Jacques Kallis had taken four wickets and Morne Morkel two.

Venue and conditions
First-innings scores of 182 and 98 at Hambantota only reveal how poor Zimbabwe have been with ball and bat. We should get a better indication of the surface in this match and one suspects it favour Sri Lanka's army of spinners.

Match odds
This may be South Africa's greatest test. In the past they have struggled on slow, low pitches against turn. If an old problem arises once more then doubts over their championship potential will creep in. But if they pass, confidence will soar.

Sri Lanka are the outsiders at 2.0421/20 and that is something of a surprise considering they were skinnier in the outright market. South Africa are 1.9520/21 and on the basis of value - ignoring our pre-tournament pick of the Proteas - we have to advise against them.

Top Sri Lanka batsman
Tillakaratne Dilshan and Dilshan Munaweera opened the batting against Zimbabwe with Mahela Jayawardene at No 3. Along with Sangakkara Jayawardene is their most reliable batsman and as he bats a place higher, he would be the selection at 4.507/2.

Top South Africa batsman
Amla has passed 40 in six of his last eight innings. He is 3.55 for honours.

Recommended bet
Sri Lanka at 2.0421/20

Australia v West Indies
Start time: 3pm
TV: Sky Sports 1

Australia have a win percentage of only 38 in the last 12 months before the tournament began and despite a convincing win over Ireland in their opener, we cannot help but feel they are overrated in the outright betting.

Shane Watson is their go-to man with bat and ball it seems. It was his all-round show which downed the fighting Irish. He forms a combustible opening salvo with David Warner but they Australia far from the force of old. Besides, they are yet to win this trophy.

West Indies

There is a lot to like about the West Indies. They seem to have every key base covered for glory. A fast starter with the bat in Chris Gayle, middle-order blasters in Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Smith, good ball variations in the form of Dwayne Bravo and class spin and pace with Sunil Narine and Fidel Edwards.

Venue and conditions
Scores of 185/123/159 in the last three first-innings at Colombo RPS make this a difficult pitch to read with certainty although given the 123 was posted by Ireland it might be safe to assume that 150 should be breached.

Match odds
West Indies are the bet for this game. We expect them to be something of a resurgent force while Australia are on the wane. The odds say the opposite and we should take advantage.

We are far more impressed with West Indies' collection of thrash and bash players. They are priced at 2.0621/20. Australia are 1.9310/11.

Top Australia batsman
Watson and Warne enjoy favourite status at 4.507/2 but, as ever, Mike Hussey is more of an eye-catcher at 5.004/1.

Top West Indies batsman

Gayle is plenty short enough at 3.505/2, although the market is yet to settle. Darren Bravo is 11.0010/1 and may be worth an interest.

Recomended bet
West Indies at 2.0621/20

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