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Australia v Pakistan, Sky Sports 1, 1100hrs BST


Barring something remarkable, Australia have already qualified for the semi-finals. It would take a huge defeat today and a huge win for India in the other game to deny them, and the Aussies have been more in the 'inflicting huge defeats on other people' business in this tournament. Despite having no discernable middle order they've progressed because of the magnificent form of Shane Watson with bat and ball. If it is possible to win an international contest on the shoulders of one man then they may well do so.

Xavier Doherty, the left arm spinner, had a fine game against South Africa on Sunday but may well lose his place (either to Clint McKay or, if the Aussies are feeling really cocky, Dan Christian) as Pakistan are better players of spin than the Proteas.


For years now, Pakistan teams have had two settings - the 'look like they could beat anyone' setting and the 'look like they have never played cricket before' setting. Worryingly, they have slipped into the second mode. Against South Africa last week they got away with an inept batting performance, but against India on Sunday they didn't. The heavy loss leaves them needing a win against the Australians, as both South Africa and India can easily surpass their net run rate in the second game.

Pakistan have made the fewest changes to their side over the course of the tournament and against Australia they will probably stick with the same side which played India and South Africa, meaning a four-pronged spin attack and no place for the left arm seam of Sohail Tanvir.

Match Odds

Australia are overwhelming favourites at 1.75n/a with Pakistan finding little favour at 2.3n/a. If they hit the form that they showed earlier in the tournament once again then that could turn out to be a generous price indeed.

Top Australia batsman

Watson has been phenomenal in this tournament and there is no reason to think that his run of form will come to an end against this Pakistan attack. He seems to enjoy batting on this Colombo pitch and has made runs against all kinds of bowling on it. Despite the comparatively short price, he's a solid bet at 4.0n/a

Top Pakistan batsman

Umar Akmal has been the only batsman to show any kind of consistency during this Super Eight series and he may have done enough to earn himself a promotion up the order from number six. If so, then his odds of 7.4n/a will begin to look very attractive indeed.

Recommended Bet:

Back Umar Akmal at 7.413/2 to be top Pakistan run scorer

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