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T20 World Cup: England, Scotland share points as big games loom

Cricket news

England have got their T20 World Cup campaign off to a less-than-ideal start in the Caribbean, sharing the points with Scotland courtesy of a washout on Tuesday.

Perhaps the defending champions got lucky, because the few overs that were completed had Scotland off to a riotous start. The European minnows elected to bat first and came out swinging, racking up 90/0 off 10 rain-effected overs.

With the target adjusted to 109 runs required off 10 overs using the Duckworth-Lewis method, England couldn’t afford any missteps in their opening game of the tournament.

Persistent rain meant they weren’t given the chance, however, with England unable to bat at all. The match was declared as no result, with each team awarded a point.

West Indies, South Africa begin with wins

Earlier in the week, both the West Indies and South Africa got their T20 World Cup campaigns off to winning starts.

The West Indies took on lowly Papua New Guinea, winning by five wickets. Having restricted their opposition to 136/8, the co-hosts ran things a bit close for comfort in the chase.

While they won with six balls remaining, the island collective will need to perform better if they’re to live up to their label of fourth favourites (+600) at the top cricket bookies.

South Africa, meanwhile, improved their outright betting odds (+700) with a comprehensive demolition of Sri Lanka. Bowling first, they rolled the Asian side for just 77 from 19.1 overs. Pace bowler Anrich Nortje starred, taking four wickets for just seven runs.

South Africa went on to win by six wickets, dawdling their way to 80/4 from 16.2 overs.

Bigger matches loom this weekend

The format for this year’s T20 World Cup — four groups of five teams — means it’s been a sedate start to the tournament.

This weekend, however, some bigger clashes loom.

Bangladesh and Sri Lanka play in what is already a do-or-die match for the latter. Only two teams can move through from Group D, and with their big loss to South Africa, Sri Lanka will need a win to keep their chances of progression realistic.

Online bookmakers think they’re a shot of doing so, with odds sitting at -200 to +162 in Sri Lanka’s favour.

Afghanistan also take on New Zealand, with the two likely playing for top spot in Group C.

It goes up a notch on Saturday evening as England and Australia collide, with the two sides sitting second and third, respectively, in both the world rankings and bookmakers odds.

Whoever wins will be sitting pretty for qualification to the Super Eight stage and gain a psychological edge ahead of a potential rematch later in the tournament.

But the biggest clash of the weekend comes on Sunday, when India and Pakistan face off in Long Island, New York.

Both will be expected to have wins on the board by then, with India taking on Ireland on Wednesday and Pakistan up against the USA on Thursday.

The winner will take pole position in Group A, where India are red-hot favourites to finish top at -303.03 with Bovada.

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