Namibia v Netherlands
Wednesday 20 October 11:00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Namibia need improvement
Namibia had a horrible start to their campaign when they were well-beaten by Sri Lanka. At minimum, Namibia expected to be competitive. They managed it for six overs.
An all-out total of 96, when they were rebuilding nicely at 68 for two, was poor. They at least showed decent hustle with the ball, taking three cheap wickets. And that is the one positive.
Possible XI Baard, Green, Williams, Erasmus, Wiese, Smit, Frylinck, Lofty-Eaton, Trumpelmann, Ya France, Scholtz
The Netherlands also had a horror show. Losing four wickets in four balls to Ireland's Curtis Campher is, frankly, a disgrace. He's not exactly Lasith Malinga. And big, experienced players were included in his victims. Colin Ackermann, Ryan ten Doeschate and Roelof van der Merwe need to show a bit more gumption.
The Dutch couldn't find room for CPL pacer Paul van Meekerens or Timm van der Gugten so they could make changes.
Probable XI O'Dowd, Cooper, de Leede, Ackermann, ten Doeschate, Edwards, Van der Merwe, Seelar, van Beek, Klaasen,
Scores of 96 and 106 at Abu Dhabi by Namibia and the Dutch have busted the trend-setting from the IPL. The average score had been 159 and there was a 62% toss bias for the chaser. Perhaps when we get into the tournament proper with competitive teams we may need to revisit the immediate post-IPL numbers. Going under first-innings runs in the mid 130s if Namibia bat first could be a bet.
Netherlands too short
The Netherlands gave Namibia a good beating when the sides last met in 2019 in Dubai. Namibia were rolled for 96 in a chase of 141.
That explains the short price on the Dutch at 1.584/7. Of course, we'd never get involved at such a price about such a team. A potential trade is Namibia batting first, looking for 130 and then trying to squeeze the men in orange.
A couple of top-bat prices for the Dutch catch the eye. Ben Cooper opened the batting but was run out for a duck so we think the 7/2 should be a little skinnier. Ackermann is the same price and should be able to dominate.
Once again the 5/4 that no fifty is scored in the first-innings looks a decent wager with two sides low on batting confidence.
Sri Lanka v Ireland
Wednesday 120 October 15.00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Sri Lanka, arguably, are the form team. They followed up warm-up successes over Papua New Guinea and Bangladesh with a crushing win over Namibia. At least they are confident.
Of course, it could be said they have found their level and this will be a stern test. Maheesh Theekshana was the star against Namibia with three wicket for his off-spin
Possible XI Kusal, Nissanka, Chandimal, Avishka, Rajapaksa, Shanaka, Hasaranga, Karunaratne, Chameera, Theekshana, Lahiru
Ireland are underway, too, having no truck whatsoever with the Dutch. Curtis Campher picked up the match gong for four wickets in four balls and Ireland look in confident mood.
It would be fair to say the Lanka are unlikely to be worried by Campher's dibbly-dobblers. Ireland need the pace of Mark Adair and left-arm variation of Josh Little to do the damage.
Possible XI Stirling, O'Brien, Balbirnie, Delany, Campher, Tector, Rock, Simi Singh, Adair, Little, White
Ireland the bet
Sri Lanka are 1.434/9 with Ireland 3.259/4. We think the latter is worthy of a wager. But it will have to be an attritional, gutsy Irish performance. They are unlikely to dominate an improved Sri Lanka outfit.
Ireland will look to hang in there in the field if they bowl first, keeping things tight and building pressure rather than a similar performance to the Netherlands.
We're quite confident about Ireland in the chase. The Stirling-O'Brien axis at the top makes or breaks them. The 15/8 from Sportsbook that both teams to score 140 or more has some appeal.
Ireland have more muscle literally and physically than Sri Lanka. In the last three years they average 4.5 sixes per game versus 3.5. So should Sri Lanka be 4/7? Probably not. Ireland are 21/10.
Stirling and O'Brien are 12/5 and 4/1 respectively for top bat. Kusal Perera, a class act, has appeal at 12/5 to top for Sri Lanka from the opening berth.
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