T20 Semi Final Preview – Whose up for the Cup and who has what it takes to win

April 1, 2014
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T20 is an amazing product. Its not cricket, its an entirely different game. Its also undergoing an amazing transformation. Who would have thought that if you had 5 wickets in hand and you needed 12 an over for the last 3 overs you would be even money to win the game. Time was in one day cricket that if you got a side 5 wickets down and they needed 7 an over off the last 6 overs the batting team were 4-1 and most often as the price suggests they didn’t get them. That would be unheard of now. There would be overs left at the end such would be the ease of victory, if it was the group stages!!!

T20 is a game that has to be played without fear – or at least is should be. In order to score at 12-15 an over batters have to be in a bizarre zone where they almost know where to put their feet, hands and more importantly their bat before the bowler bowls it. Its not even pre-meditated, its a zone, is the best way to describe it. You are picking up on things the bowler does that tells you what he is going to do before he has even got the point of doing it and even more bizarrely – you don’t even know how you are doing it. You cant teach it – you can either do it or you cant. Incredibly Darren Sammy is one of those guys – he just knows and when he hits it amazingly it never goes to a fielder. Why? He’s not one of the great batters in a traditional sense but in T20 he is incredible. AB DeVilliers is another, that’s how he scored 55 off 3 overs against England (no its not – we are rubbish – Ed).

In addition to some amazing batting and some incredible new shots, the prediction was, that the spinner would be belted out of the game. Well that was half right, the rubbish spinners do get belted out of the game but the good spinners, against all the pundits great words, they are now the match winners. Why, because the ball moves off the predictable path and most seamers cant do that these days on flat pitches and with seam free balls and so all they can do is vary their pace and with these huge heavy bats – even the miss hit goes for six.  (perhaps there is a case for limiting the weight of a bat – they do it in golf, tennis, hockey etc)

So if we know who as players, make a difference and how they make a difference, then we should be able to recognise those skills in the teams that are in the last four and make it pay. Well that’s the challenge and we think we have analysed all the teams and have come up with the answers.

images (6)With two semi finals left the task is getting a bit easier – obviously!!. Lets take India vs South Africa first. I am a great believer in the pre-ordained and I felt that South Africa could easily have been 1-3 rather than 4-0 but somehow it looks like their name was on the cup after some amazing victories. However that only goes so far and I say they have cashed in all their chips. Their batting line-up is goodish but they rely heavily on 2 players and if India get Amla and DeVilliers the games over. India’s batting line-up is superior and so is their bowling for this style of cricket. Every bowler moves it off the straight and that makes it tough for batters chasing a target. They field well now – the didn’t always, and they are, under MS Dhoni, a well disciplined, confident and extremely talented team for this style of cricket.

This one for me is easy and probably not very clever – India win and go through to the final. Back them now @

The second game – now that’s an interesting one. This Mirpur pitch suits Sri Lanka more than it suits the West Indies. The WI batters prefer it coming on and they can get in a mess. But there is real belief in the WI team and most of their batters have scored some runs at some stage in the tournament and that’s important. Just like against Pakistan they could have been in deep trouble but everyone bats and now believes. I’m not so sure about Sri Lanka who seem to rely heavily, again on 3 players and whilst you can win a game of this magnitude with 3 players – they all have to come off in the same game. It could happen but betting is about odds and that scenario for me is a greater price than the odds they are trading at.images (4)

From a bowling perspective I don’t like Santokie in the WI team but if teams have to score against him he’s a different proposition. However the rest of the bowlers are belters. Narine is the best T20 bowler in the world. Badree if he is confident is capable of accounting for anyone and Bravo has a brilliant bowlers brain. Sammy backs them up with real skill. They should never chase more than 175.

There is one other ace in the pack with the West Indies and it is what I referred to before. You have to bat without fear and for whatever reason from Gayle through to Sammy every batter has no fear and they will only play one way. Sometimes you are scratching your head when they try to belt the third ball for six when pushing for one and getting downm the other end but that’s how they play. The great thing here is the price they are trading is shorter than the chance of only one batter succeeding out of 8.

We have seen with New Zealand, Pakistan, Australia et al, that when the chips are down and you have to chase runs it is so damm difficult because fear restricts your ability to see what is coming – your sixth sense is impaired. The Great Sir Donald Bradman said of test cricket and captaincy when faced with what to do when you win the toss, He said” 99 times out of 100 you bat and on the hundredth time you think about bowling and you bat anyway.” That’s how difficult the greatest batter in the world thought chasing was.

So what does all this mean writing this before the game. Well if the West Indies bat first I say back them at any odds. If they bat second I still think they are oblivious to normal pressure and they have to be backed anyway.

Our Semi Final Bets

6 units win India @ 4-6 Sportingbet

5 units win West Indies @  11/10 Boylesports