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ICC Cricket World Cup: Week Six Preview

Week Six Preview

The Cricket World Cup enters the final week of round-robin action with the top four just about settled although there could still be a twist in the tale.

New Zealand and Australia have booked their places in the final four while England and India could both use wins in the final week although they may not need them. England play their final group game against New Zealand who risk falling off the pace after qualifying for the last four early. If Bangladesh can beat India it could set up a grandstand finish for their final game against Pakistan, the only other team with a realistic shot at breaking up the existing top four.

Monday 1 July | The Riverside Durham, Chester-Le-Street | 11:30

Sri Lanka 
West Indies
Sri Lanka have a vague mathematical shot at the semi-finals but they would probably need to score 600 and bowl the West Indies out for about fifty to get themselves in the frame to pip England on run difference, hoping that neither Bangladesh nor Pakistan can achieve the magic marker of 11 points.

The West Indies have played good cricket at times but have let themselves down at critical moments. The Windies might feel that if they had a smidge more luck they could still be in the running.

Ultimately most of the teams that have struggled in the World Cup haven’t come up with the runs and the same is true of both sides. Sri Lanka and the West Indies have bowled well for the most part but just don’t have the batting to match the big guns.

Verdict: West Indies shade it.

Tuesday 2 July 2019 | Edgbaston, Birmingham | 11:30

Bangladesh 42/100
Tie 40/1
India 17/100
India could still suffer an ignoble exit from this World Cup if they aren’t able to earn at least one victory in the final week. Until their defeat to England on Sunday they were unbeaten, demonstrating how quickly things can change.

The loss to England was a shootout that favoured the hosts but nonetheless, the result will have dented the confidence of Virat Kohli’s men.

For Bangladesh this match doesn’t get any bigger, a win will see them keep the heat on both India and England and set up a massive encounter with Pakistan later in the week.

As in most matches before Bangladesh need something special from their senior players, especially the so-called big five.

Recent results definitely favour India as does form in this competition but Bangladesh will relish the occasion.

Verdict: India to crush the Tigers dreams

Wednesday 3 July 2019 | The Riverside Durham, Chester-Le-Street | 11:30

England 47/100
Tie 40/1
New Zealand 17/100
England seemed nailed on for a semi-final place before the tournament while New Zealand were more hopeful than anything else but it is the Black Caps who will enjoy the luxury of not needing to win this game.

New Zealand will be mindful of the need to keep playing well especially given the narrow margins by which they have earned a lot of their successes.

As expected England have struggled on surfaces that offer more for the bowlers but have been dominant when conditions favoured batsmen.

New Zealand are a dangerous side when underestimated and there is no suggestion that they will be resting any top performers for the contest.

Verdict: England will smash it.

Thursday 4 July 2019 | Headingley, Leeds | 11:30

West Indies
Another dead rubber in the final week but a game that Afghanistan will be hoping to do well in after a disappointing campaign marred by politics.

Little had been expected of Cricket’s newest full member of the ICC but somehow they have still disappointed by failing to reach the standards they have set themselves in recent competition.

The West Indies will simply want to prove how far they have come since losing to the same opposition in the final of the Cricket World Cup qualifier in Zimbabwe.

Rashid Khan hasn’t found his best form for Afghanistan while the same might be said for the West Indies Shimron Hetmyer, who was talked up before the tournament.

Verdict: The Windies to end on a high.

Friday 5 July 2019 | Lord’s London | 11:30

This match was never likely to be dull but it could end up being an absolute blockbuster if the right things happen ahead of the match. If England and India lose their matches earlier in the week this contest will be rendered a virtual quarterfinal but if fortune does not favour the Asian rivals, this could also be a dead rubber.

Pakistan have shown the ability to go toe-to-toe with the best in the world but have also gone off the boil a little too much.

In truth neither side really deserves a top-four finish having failed to produce consistent cricket but their fans will celebrate the achievement all the same.

Pakistan won their last encounter at Lord’s, crushing a hapless Proteas team in the first World Cup 2019 fixture played at the home of cricket.

Verdict: Pakistan to clinch this one.

Saturday 6 July 2019 | Headingley, Leeds | 11:30

Sri Lanka 
Sri Lanka might have hoped to have a better shot at making the semi-finals but should know if that dream is attainable when they line up against India in Leeds.

India could find themselves needing a win to guarantee themselves a spot in the final four and that could be enough to motivate Sri Lanka to give it their all.

Kohli’s charges need to restore their rhythm after a few less-than-ideal performances including their defeat to England that has left them in danger of not cracking the top four.

This game could also be moot before it starts if India and England triumph earlier in the week.

India have bowled well and batted superbly for the most part but the injury to Shikhar Dhawan has thrown out the team balance just a bit.

Verdict: India to crunch it.

Saturday 6 July | Old Trafford, Manchester | 14:30 

Australia 47/100
Tie 35/100
South Africa 17/10
Normally an ODI between these two sides wouldn’t lack for spice but the Proteas are already eliminated and Australia will only be playing to determine possible opponents.

The Proteas will not be ready to give an inch to the old enemy even if they head into the match embarrassingly far behind a team who looked in disarray not too long ago.

Powered by Mitchell Starc and the potent opening pair of David Warner and Aaron Finch Australia are real contenders to win a record-extending sixth World Cup crown.

South Africa in some ways helped cause Australia’s downward spiral but their regenesis has made them into a stronger and better team under the guidance of Justin Langer.

Verdict: Australia to add insult to injury. 

Written by James Richardson for Hollywoodbets. 

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