The second round of Cricket World Cup matches concludes on Thursday morning(09:30), with this terrific looking match-up in Lucknow, where Australia face South Africa. We’ve previewed the fixture and given you our betting predictions.
It’s not quite last chance saloon for the Australians just yet but this is almost entering the echelons of a must-win game for Australia (8/13). The five-time winners have carried their poor form into this tournament and have now lost six of their last seven ODI’s.
India were comfortable winners against the Baggy Green and Australia were not just bowled out, but looked devoid of power hitters in the middle overs.
South Africa (5/4), meanwhile were involved in a record-breaking run-fest, hitting a World Cup record 428/5 and won by 102 runs.
The Proteas had three individual batters hit centuries and look to have plenty of firepower heading into this one.
Lucknow Super Giants player Marcus Stonis, may very well get the chance to play in front of his ‘home’ IPL side here, after recovering from a troubling hamstring injury. He has been bowling at full pace in training and should line up in place of Cameron Green. Travis Head remains out with a broken hand.
Australia (probable): David Warner, Mitch Marsh, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Alex Carey (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins (c), Josh Hazlewood, Adam Zampa
You wouldn’t expect South Africa to change much, given the manner of their victory in the opening match but they may be tempted to play an extra spinner here, given Australia’s struggles against the Indian spin attack. Tabraiz Shamsi could support Keshav Maharaj and replace the unfortunate Gerald Coetzee.
South Africa (probable): Temba Bavuma (c), Quinton de Kock, Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi
South Africa to win – 5/4
I was shocked to open the Betfred market and see South Africa as outsiders for this one. They won their last three games against the same side less than a month ago, winning by a combined 397 runs.
Australia look to lack confidence right now and the loss to India will have hurt. Yes, they have displayed their resilience before but this ageing squad could be in it’s final throes as a unit and I don’t see them making the semi-finals. This loss would be another nail in their coffin.
Josh Hazlewood top AUS and Keshav Maharaj top SA wicket takers – 20/1
My second selection is a little double on Josh Hazlewood and Keshav Maharaj to be the top wicket takers on their respective sides.
Hazlewood looked superb against India’s top order, taking 3/38 in his nine overs, removing Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer.
Maharaj took two wickets in the win over Sri Lanka and the 33-year-old has enough trickery and guile to trouble the Aussie batters on a spinning deck.