Australia and West Indies made a winning start to the ICC Cricket World Cup and they take the unbeaten records into a clash at Trent Bridge on Thursday.
Australia start the tournament with a seven-wicket win over Afghanistan, while the West Indies provided the first surprise of this year’s edition by bouncing out Pakistan for a heavy seven-wicket win.
Bristol saw Australia put in an all-round performance against Afghanistan. Bowlers led by Pat Cummins (3/40) and Adam Zampa (3/60) made sure that the Afghans didn’t score more than 207. The target was then easily achieved with the returning David Warner (89* off 114 balls) and captain Aaron Finch (66 off 49) enjoying successful outings.
Although they played slower than expected, Australia made sure that the target is reached with a lot to spare for the NRR to be positive. The Kangaroos know that the Windies will be a tougher opponent than Afghanistan and need to be at their best to defeat them.
The Windies surprised everyone with a seven-wicket win over Pakistan. The manner in which the victory was affirmed buoyed their fans. With hostile fast bowling led by Oshane Thomas (4/27) and Jason Holder (3/42), Windies rolled Pakistan for just 105.
Chris Gayle (50 off 34) and Nicholas Pooran (34* off 19) then chased it down within 14 overs to give a massive win. Once again, it will be the pace attack of the Windies that will be summoned into action.
- Australia have won six of their last eight ODIs against the Windies at neutral venues.
- Australia have won their last three WC matches against the Windies.
- Chris Gayle has three half-centuries in four innings at Trent Bridge (avg. 76.33).
- West Indies have lost four of their last six ODIs played at neutral venues.
The game is shaping up as an interesting battle between David Warner and Chris Gayle.
Warner’s form from the IPL continued as he showed no rustiness in getting out of the blocks and his runs will once again be crucial for Australia. Expect him to turn up fully and win the contest with Gayle, who loves batting at this ground.
Prediction: Australia win ($1.48 MadBookie)