New Zealand v Pakistan
Without McCullum the Kiwi’s rely heavily on Guptill and Williamson for runs but neither of these two have scored heavily in the competition. The middle order lacks explosive batsman - they’ve got capable hitters in Anderson and Taylor, but opposing teams will fancy their chances against the rest.
Pakistan cruised through their opening match against Bangladesh, smashing a mammoth 201. They then struggled to score off the spinners against India in their second fixture, which will be worrying for the selectors against the Kiwis.
The two teams have already faced each other this year in a three-match series in New Zealand, where the Kiwis lost the opener but absolutely smashed Pakistan in the last two. Conditions will be a lot different in India but the Kiwi’s seemed to have adapted with the ball. Since they moved on from Vetorri you wouldn’t associate spin with the Black Caps, however, in this competition they’ve bowled 20 overs of spin for 91 runs taking 12 wickets!
We’re lapping up the $1.7 on offer for New Zealand - they’ve been playing good cricket and Pakistan’s batting order looks vulnerable. Martin Guptill is one of the most explosive batsman in World Cricket, he showed this by hitting the first ball of the competition for six. He looked in decent touch against the Aussies, hitting 39 from 27 balls including four sixes. He’ll also love the sight of Pakistan, he finished the last T20 series against them in January with an unbeaten 87 followed by 42. If Guptill gets going there is no stopping him, we’re backing him to be Man of the Match at a huge $11.
Oddschecker’s best bet
Guptill deals in sixes, he’s only scored 45 runs in this World Cup but 30 of them have come in maximums. That coupled with Pakistan being no strangers to clearing the rope, we’re backing 10.5+ sixes with Ladbrokes at $1.83.
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