England put up a very competent and professional performance to defeat New Zealand by 87 runs and qualify for the semi-finals. If one were to be hypercritical, one could say they should have set a higher target given the good platform that was achieved and they did commit the cardinal sin of not batting out the overs. However, all in all, it was a fine performance, particularly the bowlers with Plunkett justifying our faith in him to be the top England bowler at 7/2.
Today’s match is in Group B and details are as follows:
Pakistan (ranked 6) v South Africa (2)
Venue - Edgbaston
Start – 13.30 (BST)
Exchange prices – Pakistan (4.2), South Africa (1.31)
Weather – Bright with sunny intervals with a risk of showers by evening
It is difficult to get away from South Africa in this match. They despatched Sri Lanka with the minimum of fuss while Pakistan looked very ordinary against arch rivals India. Pakistan’s bowling and batting just looks short of star quality and, bar a meltdown by the Proteas, it is hard to see Pakistan stopping the South Africans from booking their place in the semi-finals.
However, the market seems to have priced up the match pretty accurately and, with the possibility of rain forcing another “no result”, this looks a match to watch rather than bet on.