Paul Krishnamurty previews the final group match between two sides who, despite contrasting fortunes, have both enjoyed great tournaments...
"West Indies start prohibitively short at odds of 1.192/11 to maintain their 100% record...Given how well Afghanistan fared against sides of similar quality to Windies, this represents a poor value bet."
Afghanistan v West Indies
Sunday, 09:30 GMT
TV: Live on Sky Sports 2
While overwhelmingly likely to go home without a win from the Super Tens, Afghanistan have provided one of the stories of this World Cup. Not only did England get an almighty scare, but South Africa and Sri Lanka didn't find these minnows a pushover by any means.
Indeed, no associate member side has ever made such rapid progress and the straightforward manner of their qualification suggested they belong at this higher level.
This is a very well balanced side. Six batsmen have averaged over 20 in this competition, while five bowlers boast an economy below seven. They boast power at the top in Mohammad Shahzad and Asghar Stanikzai plus middle-order quality in Mohammad Nabi and Samiullah Shenwari.
Market confidence in the Windies was pretty weak pre-tournament, with the loss of Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine regarded as near-fatal, but the 2012 champions are well on course and promising value to regain the title at around 5.79/2.
All three top-level opponents have been beaten with something to spare. Their key is versatility. Any line-up can include at least eight quality batsmen and six bowlers. In Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Samuel Badree, they boast three of the world's leading T20 specialists. Darren Sammy is both a fine all-rounder and inspirational captain.
First Innings Runs
This looks bound to be low scoring. The pitches used at Nagpur have become progressively slow and low scoring. The surface for Friday's match between Windies and South Africa was billed as a 'belter' yet 123 beat 122 with two balls to spare.
Only South Africa scored beyond 160 against Afghanistan so, if Windies bat first, I'll be laying 150 plus at odds-on. For Afghanistan, my strategy will depend on the odds, because I have a suspicion they will continue to be under-rated yet, as argued above, this is a side with plenty of batting depth.
Predictably, West Indies start prohibitively short at odds of 1.192/11 to maintain their 100% record. However, backing short odds-on has historically proved a bad strategy in dead rubbers. Given how well Afghanistan fared against sides of similar quality to Windies, this represents a poor value odds-on bet.
Top Afghanistan Batsman
With early wickets pretty likely and a low score on the cards, I'm looking for value amonst the middle order. Mohammad Nabi often holds the Afghan innings together and, coming in around five, looks decent value at odds of 8.07/1.
Top West Indies Batsman
Windies have little incentive and could very well re-jig their order. Andre Russell can come in at eight normally, but is often promoted to slog. He's always interesting at around 17.016/1.
Lay West Indies to score 150 or more first innings runs @ 1.5 (approx)
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