India v Pakistan
Pakistan have had a lot of practice recently and have played 18 matches in the last two months. The Shaheens have won four of their last five games, two wins against New Zealand and Bangledesh, and although they won the series against New Zealand their loss was by nine wickets when Pakistan only managed 130 runs through their allotted overs. Their overall record in the last two months was W10-L8.
India will want some form of revenge going into this World Cup after being knocked out in the qualifying round last year, they lost to the two eventual winners of their group, Pakistan (by 10 wickets) and New Zealand. The Men in Blue have played 25 games in the last six months and have come out on top in 17 of those. They played two games against Pakistan and the spoils were shared and both teams won by 5 wickets.
These two sides have only played three T20’s against one another in the last four years and Pakistan have won two of the three but this isn’t much to pay attention to because of the lack of games played. Both sides are also fairly inexperienced playing at the MCG in T20 format with Pakistan only playing one match back in 2010 and India played four between 2008-2018.
In the three matches played against one another since 2021, Mohammad Rizwan was the top scorer in all three games and his average over these games was 96.50. He scored the highest number of runs in a calendar year last term and hasn’t looked like stopping since.
MOHAMMAD RIZWAN TOP BATSMAN
Sri Lanka v Ireland
Sri Lanka beat the Netherlands and UAE to finish top of their group, they had a much higher net run rate than the Dutchmen which gave them the pole position. Their loss came against Namibia in the first game of the tournament when the Sri Lankans were bowled all out for 108 after chasing a decent score of 163.
Ireland have made it through to the Super 12 for the first time since 2009, a thrilling victory over West Indies means that the most successful team in the history of this competition have been knocked out before the Super 12 stage. They have appeared in seven of the eight T20 world cups and their overall record is W6-L12.
Pathum Nissanka has been an excellent addition to the Sri Lankan First XI and since his arrival last year he has scored 898 runs over his 32 matches (29.93 average). He is already the third top scorer of the active Sri Lankan players sitting just behind Mendis (939 runs from 44 innings) and Shanaka (1163 runs from 73 innings). He sits tenth in the all-time Sri Lankan T20 scorers and there are only two players ahead of him that have a better average, Kumar Sangakkara (31.40) and Mahela Jayawardene (31.76), and at the prices he’s certainly worth a punt to guide his side to victory here.
PATHUM NISSANKA TOP BATSMAN
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