Australia got their World Cup campaign off to a great start on Saturday night as they downed Afghanistan by seven wickets in a dominant performance. They’ll be back on show this Thursday night as they square off against the West Indies from 7.30pm (AEST)
We have a full preview and betting tips for the Aussies second game below.
Afghanistan won the toss and elected to bat first against Australia on Saturday night. The Aussie pace duo of Mitch Starc and Pat Cummins claimed two early wickets and controlled the innings from that point on. Afghanistan could only muster 207 from 38.5 overs as Pat Cummins and Adam Zampa picked up three wickets each.
The batting performance will be a big confidence boost to the Aussie line-up, as they were able to chase down the total of 207 for the loss of just three wickets. Openers David Warner and Aaron Finch put on 96 runs for the first wicket, putting selection questions over their opening partnership to bed.
It’s unlikely that the Aussies will change the winning formula heading into their match against West Indies. One point of contention surrounded Marcus Stoinis bowling, however, the all-rounder was fantastic with the ball, claiming 2/37 off 7 overs.
Aaron Finch's average drops from 28 to 18 against the West Indies in ODI's and the opener has not made a single 50 in nine matches against them, with Jason Holder having taken his wicket in four of those games.
The Windies also claimed a win in their opening game of the World Cup, downing Pakistan in absolute dominant fashion. They won the toss and bowled and it proved to be a fantastic decision as they rolled Pakistan for just 105 in 21.4 overs. Oshane Thomas was the pick of the bowlers and earned man of the match honours for his 4/27 off just 5.4 overs.
The West Indies had no trouble chasing down the Pakistani total as they passed the mark in just the 14th over. The innings was highlighted by a powerful Chris Gayle innings which saw him score 50 off just 34 balls including 6 fours and 3 sixes.
The West Indies batting line-up might be hit and miss but at their best they are arguably the most damaging in the world with Gayle, Shai Hope, Nicolas Pooran and Andre Russel all capable of decimating bowling attacks. Add a bowling unit that is highly underrated and features some of the most pure athletes in all of cricket and the Windies are capable of upsetting the best teams in this tournament.
Gayle averages a respectable 38.20 in ODI cricket but that figure drops drastically against the Aussies. In 31 games against the Green and Gold, Gayle averages just over 26 and the last time he notched up 50 against them was back in 2008.
Australia start as strong $1.40 favourites here and it’s hard to bet against them in their current form. The two sides haven’t faced off in an ODI series since the Tri-Nations involving themselves and South Africa back in 2016. Australia won three out of the four matches between the two sides in that series. Back the Aussies to get it done on the back of strong performances from their pacemen.
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