On Monday 18th October, the second match in Group A will be played – Namibia vs Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka are in the tournament's first round due to their ranking being too low back in 2018 when the initial draw was made. They are heavy favourites to qualify out of the group and are priced at 41.00 to win the tournament outright, making them the 8th most favoured team in the outright market.
Namibia will be playing in their first T20 World Cup and their first major cricket tournament since 2003. In a group containing Sri Lanka, Ireland, and the Netherlands, the Namibians are outsiders. They will have a monumental task ahead of them if they are to qualify for the Super 12 phase.
Sri Lanka are the heavy favourites for this match, priced at 1.14, with Namibia being priced at 5.50 to cause the upset.
Namibia vs Sri Lanka T20 World Cup
Team news for Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka find themselves in a difficult situation ahead of the group stage. They are expected to qualify easily for the Super 12 phase but will have a tricky time of it against both the Netherlands and Ireland, who are more than capable of causing the upset on their day. The Sri Lankans will want to save some energy for potentially tricker matches to come, so they will want to progress through with the minimum amount of fuss.
They have been handed the perfect opportunity to get off to a great start against a Namibian side they should beat comfortably. It's the ideal chance for some of their big players to get some time out in the middle and for the team as a whole to find their rhythm.
Sri Lanka, winners of the 2014 T20 World Cup, are still heavily in a rebuilding period following the retirements of several key players. They are turning to youth in this tournament and will be hoping this new-age Sri Lankan team can have a positive tournament.
24-year-old Charith Asalanka was the Player of the Series in Sri Lanka's recent ODI series win over South Africa. Avishka Fernando has averaged 119.5 across Sri Lanka's four practice matches in the lead-up to the tournament. Fernando is a generous 5.00 to be his team's top scorer, which could be one of the better value bets this match has to offer.
Likely playing 11 of Sri Lanka
Pathum Nissanka, Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Avishka Fernando, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Charith Asalanka, Dasun Shanaka (C), Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Lahiru Kumara, Binura Fernando, Akila Dananjaya
Team News for Namibia
Namibia are a team on the rise and will compete in their first major cricket tournament since 2013. The Namibians qualified for the World Cup by virtue of finishing 4th in the qualifiers back in 2018. They beat some established sides en route to qualifying, which included African rivals Kenya and a vastly experienced Scottish team. They will know they have an uphill task in qualifying out of the first round, but playing the underdog role could be one they relish.
Batting is the strength of this Namibian side, and they have a host of players who can all find the boundary ropes with regular frequency. One Player to keep an eye on is Namibian wicket-keeper Zane Green. Green is a powerful ball-striker; he will open the batting and look to cause as much destruction as he can during the power play. If he gets it right, odds of 5.00 to be his team's top scorer could be a very attractive price.
A recent addition to the Namibian bowling lineup is David Wiese. Wiese qualifies for the team through his Namibian father and is a player who has travelled the world playing various forms of franchise cricket. Namibia will look towards Wiese to help control their opposition's run rate and contribute with vital wickets. Odds of 2.75 to take over 1.5 wickets could be a good bet for those looking to back one of the team's most experienced players.
Likely playing 11 of Namibia
Zane Green, Calum MacLeod, George Munsey, Gerhard Merwe Erasmus, Richie Berrington, David Wiese, Michael Leask, Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton, Safyaan Sharif, Brad Wheal, Pikkie Yafrance
Pitch and Weather Conditions
This contest will take place in Abu Dhabi at the Zayed Sports City Stadium. The stadium is one of the better pitches in the UAE for allowing the ball to come onto the bat, and the scoring has been higher here than in other stadiums being used in this World Cup.
Used for both international T20 games as well as the IPL, the average score in the first innings is 156, and the average winning score in the first innings is up at 176. Over the course of all T20 matches that have been completed in Abu Dhabi, there isn't really too much of an advantage to the team that chooses to bat first or second. The team that bats first has won 33 times, with the team that bats second winning 38 times.
Betting Predictions for Namibia vs Sri Lanka
Now let's take a look at a few important betting predictions for Namibia vs Sri Lanka:
Match Result Prediction
All signs point towards an easy Sri Lankan win, and they have to be the choice, although odds of 1.14 don't offer the greatest of returns. Sri Lanka will hope to use this match as a launchpad for the rest of their tournament.
As we saw in the recently completed IPL, the slow pitches in the UAE can be difficult to bat on and can act as a bit of leveller, so don't expect Namibia to be blown away. However, it will take something truly special for them to cause the shock here, and ultimately Sri Lanka should have too much class and should get the job done.
Match Winner: Sri Lanka (1.14)
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Either team to win the toss can be backed at 1.91. On a pitch that should offer something to both batsmen and bowlers, the team that wins the toss will be looking to chase as the ground seems to favour the chasing team slightly. For the team that bats first, the average score in the first innings is 156, so anything over this will be somewhat tough to chase.
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Top Batsman for Sri Lanka
We mentioned at the start that Sri Lanka have a youthful side heading into this year's competition; however, mixed with that youth is a sprinkling of experience and one of the most experienced players in the Sri Lankan lineup is Kusal Perera. Perera is a class player and has played in 52 T20 matches for his country. Averaging 28 and with a strike rate of 130, look for Perera to try and get on top of the Namibian bowlers right from the start. He is priced at 3.00 to be Sri Lanka's top batsman, and that could be a good bet in this game.
Kusal Perera to be Sri Lanka’s top scoring batsman (3.00)
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