World T20: 3 key cogs for the outsider-nations’ hopes

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Beyond the household names that turn out for the big nations at major cricket tournaments, the joy of those events are often heightened by the performances of the lesser lights.

The competitiveness of the Associates (non Test-playing countries) and the likes of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe break the monotony of watching Australia and India battle it out for the spoils.

Here are three players to keep an eye on among the unfancied sides, including some bets for each one:

Sean Williams – Zimbabwe

Along with Brendan Taylor, Williams was a key performer for Zimbabwe in the last 50-over World Cup, scoring 339 runs in six games at an average of 67.80.

He has had less success in T20 cricket over his career, with a measly average of 22.26 from 21 T20Is on his CV and just two scores above 50.

However, he is a classy player that certainly isn’t out of place playing against the best in the world and is a decent-looking 4/1 to his country’s leading runscorer in India.

Mustafizur Rahman – Bangladesh

Rahman will become the third Bangledeshi international to play county cricket this summer when he turns out for Sussex in the domestic 50 and 20-over competitions during the coming season.

First though, the 20-year-old will be looking to continue his impressive start to international cricket by taking a major tournament by storm.

He became only the second player in history to take consecutive five-wicket hauls in his first to one-day internationals and can be backed at 5/1 to collect more scalps than any of his teammates at the World Cup.

Boyd Rankin – Ireland

The Irish are undoubtedly the best Associate side in the competition and their strength in that sphere has been bolstered by the return of gnarly pace bowler Rankin, who was dealt a swift exit by England after just one Test match.

Back wearing the green of his home country, Rankin will be out to show the world he isn’t a complete failure at international level by roughing up a few opposing batsmen.

Understandably, he’s the 5/2 favourite with Ladbrokes to take the most Irish wickets at the tournament.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.