Semi-Final: England v Pakistan at Cardiff
Wednesday Jun 14, 2017 – 19:30 AEST
|Top Batsman England||Eoin Morgan ($5.50)|
|Top Batsman Pakistan||Mohammad Hafeez ($5.00)|
|Top Bowler England||Mark Wood ($4.50)|
|Top Bowler Pakistan||Junaid Khan ($4.50)|
The Champions Trophy has moved into the knockout stages and the 4 teams lining up are not what most people would have expected. Sure, England and India were always supposed to be there but Pakistan and Bangladesh can consider their campaign a success already just by reaching this far.
Now that they are here, though, they will give it their all to complete this fairy tale.
The first semi-final will be between England, the dominant team of this tournament and Pakistan, a team that started off terribly, comprehensively beat South Africa and then squeaked past Sri Lanka to make the semis.
On paper, there cannot be two more mismatched teams. England has a never ending arsenal of batting firepower at their disposal while Pakistan is dependent on an extremely talented group of bowlers to keep them in the game.
England is a fantastic fielding side while Pakistan is quite possible the worst fielding side in the tournament. Pakistan has a 30-49 win-loss record against England overall and that worsens to 4-14 if just the last 10 years are taken into account.
In England, Pakistan has only won 3 out of 10 matches played against the hosts in the last decade and lost 5 out of the last 6.
Every single stat favors Pakistan, however, that is not something which bothers them too much and their ability surprise the opposition cannot be taken lightly.
Players To Watch Out For
The Wolf has been very impressed with the manner in which Eoin Morgan has led his team as well as his batting under pressure. Facing an Aussie attack in a difficult situation, he came out and took the game away with his batting. With 175 runs at an average of 87.50 in the tournament so far, Morgan is the Wolf’s pick to be the top batsman in this match for England.
England will definitely test out the Pakistani batsmen with some short pitched stuff and the Wolf thinks Mark Wood is the most likely to get success from that strategy. He picked up crucial wickets against Australia and has a total of 5 wickets at an economy rate of 4.24. Back him to be the top bowler.
Pakistan will need their batsmen to really outperform all expectations if they are to stand a chance in this match. Fakhar Zaman is the only top order batsman that has a strike rate of over 100 and no batsmen has reached a total of 100 runs in the series.
Mohammad Hafeez is having a bad tournament with the bat and has only scored 60 runs at an average of 20 so far. The Wolf believes that his batting is actually better than the numbers suggest and the fact that he is bowling once more will only add to his confidence. Back him to the top batsman from the Pakistani side.
If Pakistan does not have much batting talent to boast about then its bowling cupboard is overflowing with superb talent. Mohammad Amir finally picked up some wickets in the last match but the real difference has been Junaid Khan. He was unlucky to have missed out the first game and has since been a constant threat to the opposition. With 5 wickets from 2 matches and an economy rate of 4.89, Junaid Khan in excellent form and a good bet to be the top bowler for Pakistan.
Pitch and Conditions
The pitch at Cardiff, the venue for this match, was a little uneven and has favored the team bowling second. It could be an interesting toss to win chasing has been England’s strength over the years but conditions dictate otherwise.
The terrible weather in Cardiff seems to have passed by and a forecast of a sunny day is in place right now.
England is too strong a team to go against and Pakistan too weak to consistently outperform teams better than it in most aspects. The Wolf is backing England to win this one.
Jason Roy in poor form and the Pakistani opening bowlers a handful. An excellent betting opportunity to double your money.