Australia v West Indies T20 World Cup Tips: Back Finch to maintain form as Aussies eye semis

Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc and the rest of Australia's pace attack will make life difficult for the West Indies

Australia need a win to stay on course for the knockouts and Matt Harris expects a comfortable outing against eliminated West Indies

"David Warner’s return to form was brief but Finch is the type of player who will maintain those big scores once he finds his touch"

Australia v West Indies
Saturday November 6th, 10:00 GMT
Live on Sky Sports Cricket

Australian selectors close to getting it right

It's nice when one of my theoretical scenarios plays out to perfection, as was the case on Thursday when Australia breezed past a weakened Bangladesh. Adam Zampa may have mopped up with five wickets but the early damage was done by the pace battery of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.

It was also pleasing to see Mitchell Marsh recalled: Having not been used with the ball in the win over Sri Lanka, he was subsequently dropped for the defeat to England and both decisions were baffling.

The balance is better with Marsh back and, while Steve Smith's inclusion continues to stir debate, it was always unlikely that the selectors would drop one of their test greats, even if his influence in the T20 game is far less effective.

Windies wave goodbye

The West Indies defined the term 'poor shot selection' in their opening defeat to England. From the depths of 55 all out, there was some improvement in the loss to South Africa before Kieron Pollard's men finally got some points on the board.

The Windies beat Bangladesh but so has everyone else in Group 1 and the subsequent loss to Sri Lanka indicates that Curtly Ambrose was right and that it's time to move on from Chris Gayle and others.

The current team showed fight at times with Shimron Hetmyer defiant as they slipped to defeat on Thursday. The future could yet be bright but Saturday is a game that the wounded Windies could do without.

Attention on Abu Dhabi

The Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi hosts its final game of the Super 12s. Sri Lanka boosted the scoring on Thursday and their 189/3 takes the average first innings total up to 147 across this stage of the tournament.

India made the first 200+ score on this surface earlier in the week and, with four of those eight Super 12 games going to the side batting first, this goes against the trend of pitches favouring the chasing side.

The toss may, therefore, have less significance on Saturday and that makes Australia an even stronger option to take the points.

Australia in the clear

Australia are hot favourites for the win at 1.364/11 with West Indies trailing at 3.814/5. While form has an obvious bearing on those numbers, only one team has anything to play for here. Australia need the win while the Windies were always likely to miss out on the semis after those opening defeats.

The old phrases about playing for pride will be used but this is a poor West Indies side and it's the experienced players that are chiefly culpable. That poor shot selection and lack of form against an Australian attack that is improving with each game means that I can't see past the favourites here.

Finch finding form

I could copy and paste my recommended bet from Australia's previous game against Bangladesh. Aaron Finch delivered the top Aussie batsman return in that match and I'm drawn to the skipper again.

David Warner's return to form was brief but Finch is the type of player who will maintain those big scores once he finds his touch. Warner has been boosted to 10/3 but I'm happy enough with the 16/5 on Finch.

I've honestly tried to be original but the rest of Australia's top order lacks any consistency. At the same time, West Indies' version of the top batsman market is far more unpredictable so Finch it is.

Consider West Indies for most sixes

In losing to Sri Lanka on Thursday, the West Indies delivered a profit in the six hitting market - registering six maximums to their opponents' three. The majority of those came from the bat of Shimron Hetmyer in a losing cause but it's a scenario that we often see in T20 cricket.

With batters blazing away in a desperate attempt to keep up with the run rate, the sixes land as the wickets tumble. Others seem to agree with my theory as the Windies are favourites but, if you want a third pick, 1.865/6 isn't a bad price for this bet. Australia are the outsiders at 2.747/4 with the tie at 6.86/1.


For more World Cup tips, check out the latest Cricket...Only Bettor

Matt Harris’ World Cup P/L

Staked: 13pts
Returns: 14.66pts
P/L: +1.66pts

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