New Zealand v Australia
Live on Betfair Live Video and Sky Sports Main Event
Kiwi batsmen worryingly out of form
It had been coming. After three narrow wins already (Bangladesh, South Africa and West Indies), this time New Zealand couldn't pull off another win from a precarious position.
Their defeat against Pakistan was actually closer than it should have been. For a while Babar Azam seemed more concerned with getting to three figures than wrapping up the match but thankfully for them, Pakistan just about had enough balls left for both to happen.
The Kiwi bowlers did their bit on a wicket that seemed to get better but not for the first time, were left to clean up a mess created by their batsmen.
Kane Williamson put in his usual shift as partners came and went, eventually getting out for a belligerent 41 and full credit to the two all-rounders. Jimmy Neesham got a brilliant 97 and Colin de Grandhomme a very handy 64.
But Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Ross Taylor and Tom Latham got a maximum score of 12 between them in what's been a really poor tournament for the lot of them. Now is the time to make changes, not when they actually play the semi.
Aussies improving game by game
If you backed Australia before the tournament at around 5.04/1, well done.
You had the belief that players who had been out of ODI cricket for a while (we're including the likes of Mitchell Starc here as well as David Warner and Steve Smith) would perform straight away and that the latter two would be welcomed back rather than treated with suspicion and contempt. In true Aussie style, they've all stuck up for their mates.
Worryingly for all those who have backed someone else, they seem to be getting better and better.
Against England, David Warner and Aaron Finch (above) got off to a good start for the umpteenth time this tournament, the fielding was exemplary and they might have just unearthed a gem in Jason Benhrendoff.
It will be interesting to see if the likes of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins or Warner get a rest here with qualification to the semis now guaranteed.
This match is at Lord's and that doesn't necessarily suit one team more than the other. 300 should be viewed as about par.
It's a wicket that will appeal to the fast bowlers as we saw when Behrendoff and Starc were a bit too quick for most of England's batsmen and Chris Woakes was the pick of England's bowlers.
Initially one would think that in a straight shoot-out between two very good pace attacks, that would make New Zealand a value selection at 13/8, especially given how they beat Australia in the group stages of the 2015 World Cup.
The problem though is the difference in form among the respective batsmen. Warner and Finch are getting to 50 just about every game (sometimes more) without breaking sweat while as we've seen, the Kiwis have four batsmen badly out of nick. Best leave this one alone.
With so many of the Kiwi batters so desperately struggling for runs, one might think Kane Williamson- (pictured below) fresh from scores of 79, 106, 148 and 41- might just have to show up to end up as top batsman. He's 5/2 to do just that.
Ross Taylor continues to be, statistically at least, a value punt at 9/2 to top score going by data over the last two years but is going through one of those spells where he keeps finding new ways to get out, which is a worry.
It's a bit of a shame that Neesham has been cut to 10/1 after his heroics in getting 97 not out on Wednesday because he's been overpriced for most of the tournament and batting at six should have a sniff here.
Coming in one place lower in the batting order is de Grandhomme, who is 14/1. It's not completely out of the question that New Zealand's top order gets blown apart and a 50 from him in a rescue act is enough for him to top score.
You could easily make a case for Mitchell Starc at 5/2 for top Aussie bowler. He is after all the tournament's leading runscorer with 19 wickets, three clear of anyone else. And in seven matches at the tournament, he's been top bowler in two, tied once and was desperately unlucky not to win this betting heat on Tuesday, his four wickets trumped by Behrendoff's five.
Hard to see why he's the same price as Cummins, despite having taken a full eight wickets more.
Speaking of Behrendoff, he won't be without his chances, either. He's a far bigger price at 10/3 and has the advantage of the Kiwi batsmen not having seen much of him over the years.
Let's just consider this for a minute. New Zealand have struck 18 sixes between them so far this tournament. Their top hitter of sixers is de Grandhomme, with four.
18? Aaron Finch has 18 just by himself. Two other players- Warner and Glenn Maxwell have six. In total the Aussies have hit 38 maximums.
It's not that surprising. The likes of Finch, Warner, Maxwell and Khawaja are power-hitters while it's only really the two Kiwi all-rounders down at six and seven who tend to swing for the rooftops. Just as an example, Williamson hit just two sixes despite having scored 414 runs.
Even allowing for the fact that Australia got to bat on some better wickets and batted for one more innings (New Zealand's match against India was rained off without a ball being bowled), that's still a massive difference - 38 plays 18.
It should be much shorter than 5/6 that the Aussies hit more sixes and that represents the best bet of the match.