2012 Twenty20 World Cup: Round One Betting Preview

by Thomas

It is time for the talking to stop and the action to begin as the World Twenty20 gets underway in Sri Lanka this week. With the opening group games taking place, the pressure is on straight away as one defeat could cost a team their place in the next round.

Below is a mini-preview for each team’s first game along with a prediction with regards to the outcome. Then, looking slightly further ahead, there is a look at each team’s second and final group fixture as well as which eight teams we expect to make it through.

2012 World Twenty20 – First Round

Group C – Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe, 18th September – Pick: Sri Lanka to win – 1.08

This appears to be a foregone conclusion and you can see why. Sri Lanka are the host nation and without doubt one of the strongest Twenty20 teams around. They have their favourable conditions and two world-class batsman in Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara.

Zimbabwe will be well organised, but a significant amount of their team would need to raise their game to previously unobtainable levels. It could be closer than expected due to some early tournament nerves, but Sri Lanka should win comfortably.

Extra bet – Jayawardene to be the Top Sri Lanka batsman – 4.00

Sri Lanka next fixture – 22nd September, v South Africa

Zimbabwe next fixture – 20th September, v South Africa

Group B – Australia v Ireland, 19th September – Pick: Ireland to win – 8.00

In Twenty20 cricket, there is always room for a shock and we think it could come early on in the tournament as Ireland go up against Australia. The Australians are not the strongest Twenty20 side and Ireland will be determined to cause an upset.

The Irish have some dangerous players too with Kevin O’Brien more than capable of taking the game away from Australia. It would be a shock of course, but the stage is set for another memorable performance from the minnows.

Extra Bet – Kevin O’Brien to be Man of the Match – 23.00

Australia next fixture – 22nd September, v West Indies

Ireland next fixture – 24th September, v West Indies

Group A – Afghanistan v India, 19th September – Pick: India to win – 1.04

You will not get a bigger favourite than India to win their first match of the tournament. A team blessed with plenty of talent, they have a number of match-winners and despite the unknown factor of Afghanistan, should have more than enough to win this one.

For the underdogs, it is their job to be competitive. They may not qualify from a group which also contains England, but they need to move Afhghanistan cricket forward with some performances they can be proud of.

Extra bet – Virat Kohli to be the Top Indian Batsman – 5.00

India next fixture – 23rd September, v England

Afghanistan next fixture – 21st September, v England

Group C – South Africa v Zimbabwe, 20th September – Pick: South Africa to win – 1.13

South Africa are a difficult team to predict, but in the early stages of the tournament is usually where they show their potential. A well balanced unit, they should be able to overcome some early tournament nerves to beat Zimbabwe.

After all, this Zimbabwe team has to cope with games against Sri Lanka and South Africa in quick succession, so it could be far too much for them.

Extra bet – AB De Villiers to be Top South Africa Batsman – 5.50

South Africa next fixture – 22nd September v Sri Lanka

Group D – Bangladesh v New Zealand, 21st September – Pick: New Zealand to win – 1.40

This could be one of the closest opening matches of the lot. Bangladesh will be very strong in these conditions and will no doubt use their variety of spin bowling to try and keep the runs down.

New Zealand have their match winners though and often perform better than expected in the major tournaments. They often put a marker down early on too and with the likes of Ross Taylor in their batting line-up, we expect them to just about have enough to win this one.

Extra bet – Daniel Vettori to be the most economical bowler – 3.75

Group A – Afghanistan v England, 21st September – Pick: England to win – 1.06

This is the first chance to see reigning Champions England in action and they should win relatively comfortably. Having said that, they have had shock defeats in major tournaments before – against Holland and Ireland no less – and there is only so comfortable a Twenty20 win can be.

The key will be how England’s batsman handle Afghanistan’s spin attack. They didn’t cover themselves in glory during the winter in Pakistan and Sri Lanka and this needs to change – without Kevin Pietersen too.

Extra bet – Eoin Morgan to be the Top England Batsman

Group C – Sri Lanka v South Africa, 22nd September – Pick: Sri Lanka to win – 1.73

With both teams expected to have beaten Zimbabwe at this stage, this will decide who tops the group and it is home advantage that could count. It should be a cracking match though.

Group B – Australia v West Indies, 22nd September – Pick: West Indies to win – 1.83

The West Indies undoubtedly have some of the most explosive Twenty20 players around, led by the incredible Chris Gayle. They play with a freedom as well and if they get the basics right, they can beat Australia.

This, according to our predictions, would be Australia’s second defeat of the tournament too meaning they are knocked out. We believe that West Indies will relish the challenge against an under fire Australian Twenty20 outfit.

Group D – New Zealand v Pakistan, 23rd September – Pick: New Zealand to win – 2.40

It would be considered a shock of sorts, but with New Zealand already having one win under their belts and Pakistan being forced to wait for their opener, it could be the Kiwis that start as the better team.

You can ill afford a slow start in this form of the game too, so even Pakistan’s excellent spin attack – which prove more and more affective as the tournament goes on – might not be able to get them out of this one.

At this stage, we will have seen each team at least once. There are still three massive Group games to go though, so let’s have a quick look at those before putting forward the eight teams we expect to make it through to the Super Eight stage.

Group A – England v India, 23rd September – Pick: India to win – 1.67

This is a massive match between two of the major nations and it should be an incredibly close encounter. In the end though, India will come through on top as both teams progress.

Group B – Ireland v West Indies, 24th September – Pick: West Indies to win – 1.10

Ireland are expected to raise their game massively for their first game against Australia, but can they do it again a few days later? The powerful nature of the West Indies could be too much for them.

Group D – Bangladesh v Pakistan, 25th September – Pick: Pakistan to win – 1.33

This match is a battle between two teams that will enjoy the conditions and will rely on their varied bowling attacks to restrict their opponents. Pakistan have the best spinner in the world in their ranks though, Saeed Ajmal, and they will win this one.

Group Predictions – who will make it through?

These 12 matches will be over before we know it and there should be plenty of twists and turns along the way. Who will make it through to the Super Eight stages though? Our predictions for each group are below.

Group A – India and England to qualify, Afghanistan to miss out

Group B – West Indies and Ireland to qualify, Australia to miss out

Group C – South Africa and Sri Lanka to qualify, Zimbabwe to miss out

Group D – New Zealand and Pakistan to qualify, Bangladesh to miss out

It is then time for the Super Eight Stage which gets underway on the 27 th September. By the way, our pick to go all the way at this stage is West Indies – available at 7.00.

About The Author

has written 63 awesome posts on tipsandpicks.com.

Thomas is a sports journalist residing in Norwich, UK and focusses on all things football here at tipsandpicks.com