• Sun 24 Sep, 2017
  • 08:01 BST
  • 04:01 EST (BST-4)
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Pakistan Attempt To Stop Aussie Juggernaut

CRICKET BETTING: Live On Sky Sports 1: Fri 16.00 Australia are on course to storm into the final with England but Pakistan will have different ideas. Compare odds and bet at the best prices.

Australia will face possibly the trickiest test of their World Cup campaign so far when they come up against Pakistan in the 2nd semi final today. Not that that is putting off the bookies, Australia are 4/9 to beat Pakistan (Stan James) in what could threaten to be a one sided affair.

Pakistan have stuttered their way into the semi’s, 2 wins from 5, and have lacked any sort of team stability, chopping and changing the XI as they go. Bet365 chalk up a pessimistic 2/1 against them today.

Australia’s main threat comes in the form of pace trio Dirk Nannes, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson, who have taken 29 wickets between them in this tournament. Steven Smith did well in the last match, here at St Lucia, where he took 3 wickets. Smith could be a thorn in Pakistan’s side but it’s the pacemen who will cause the problems – Mitchell Johnson in particular is 7/2 with Ladbrokes to be Australia top wicket taker.
In terms of batting, Australia have shown superb team depth. 5 batsmen have totalled over 100 runs so far, 3 of them have top scored over 70. There is great flexibility to the team, just when you think you have them pinned down, as Sri Lanka did when they had Australia at 67 for 5, Australia will hit you from another direction. In that particular match, Cameron White stepped up and Australia remarkably finished on 168 for 5. That makes picking a top scoring batsmen somewhat of a lottery but assuming Pakistan’s spinners can chip away a few openers in a surprise attack, Cam White or Mike Hussey could be the rudder for the Australian chase (or lead) and come in at 8/1 and 10/1 respectively (Paddy Power).

Pakistan can go from the sublime to the ridiculous in these situations and to prevent a whitewash, Pakistan will turn to 2 sources. Firstly, their spin contingent. Saeed Ajmal has had a great tournament and St Lucia will be more to his liking. He will be desperate to add to his 10 wickets and this, coupled with his excellent run rate of about 6.6 an over, means he is 7/2 with Ladbrokes to be top Pakistan bowler.
Their second source is Salman Butt. Butt has had a solid tournament, scoring 191 runs on the way. It is vital that in the upcoming pace onslaught, Butt keeps his head and allows Pakistan to build small totals around him. If the team fractures and he falls early, Afridi is the final hope. As wickets fall, a Butt-Afridi partnership toward the end could prove vital. Butt is 7/2 with totesport to top score for Pakistan.

So, Pakistan have it all to do. Australia thrive on pressure situations, you could argue there isn’t another team near them when it comes to blossoming in big games. England and New Zealand traditionally snatch defeat from the jaws of victory but Australia simply have a thirst and desire to win. Pakistan have options and hope but Australia will be simply too strong for them throughout the whole team line up and can beat Pakistan heavily today.

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