Cricket World Cup: South Africa and Ireland to go on sixes spree

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Four days after blitzing the fastest ODI 150 in history, AB de Villiers moves to face Ireland on the same ground where Chris Gayle smashed Zimbabwe for the first World Cup double century.

Naturally, the most destructive batsman in world cricket is the main focus of the pre-match chatter in Canberra. However, it is the South African captain’s presence as part of a collective that appeals more from a betting perspective, over his individual exploits.

De Villiers is 5/6 to score over 35.5 runs when he faces Ireland, one of just three unbeaten sides remaining in the tournament. 11/10 says he scores a 50 against the Pool B Associates and 6/1 is offered about him being man of the match.

All three have a strong chance of coming in, but it is his boundary hitting powers, along with the ground’s conditions, that should point punters in the “”total sixes” market’s direction.

The last time Canberra hosted a World Cup game was Gayle’s Zimbabwe destruction a week ago. His effort of 215 was a sublime example of the favourable batting conditions on offer there, which was backed up by others in that game.

Gayle hit 16 sixes on his own, but three apiece came from Marlon Samuels and Zimbabwe’s lineup, who managed 289 in response to the West Indies’ 372.

With De Villiers, Quinton de Kock and David Miller all rope-clearing threats for South Africa and Paul Stirling and Kevin O’Brien adding to that for Ireland, 10/11 on there being over 8.5 maximums in the game is easily the best bet.

It certainly appeals more than the 5/6 on over 46.5 fours, which is swerved in favour of the sixes market due to the high line on offer.

Ireland have hit 59 fours across their three games, averaging out at 19.6 per contest, while the Proteas have 64 at an average of 21.3. Should both teams perform to that standard then this punt will fall some way short.

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.