Pre-tournament big-guns Sri Lanka and India have already made a statement at this year’s ICC World Twenty20 and with a pair of impressive victories for each powerhouse they look likely to take all the beating.
Sri Lanka would have still been celebrating their crucial five-run success over South Africa as they faced the Netherlands in their second Super 10 match but that didn’t stop Dinesh Chandimal’s side restricting their associate opponents to the lowest score in Twenty20 international history.
Only one of the Dutch batsmen mustered double figures as the minnows managed just 39 with the runners-up of two years ago taking only five overs to knock off the embarrassing total.
That has set the now, 3/1 tournament second favourites on course for the last-four where they will be desperate to go one better than they did in both 2009 and 2012 when denied by Pakistan and West Indies respectively.
India, now market leaders at 5/2, are also making eye-catching progress as they attempt to recapture the crown they won for the only time in 2007.
A crushing seven-wicket victory against arch-rivals Pakistan was the perfect springboard for their assault on a second World T20 crown and they took all of that confidence into their match against the highly fancied West Indies who were beaten by the same margin.
Virat Kohli and opener Rohit Sharma have both been in excellent form at the crease and with contributions from all angles of the bowling attack through the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Amit Mishra they look certain to go close.
Defending champions West Indies were under pressure after their defeat to MS Dhoni’s side but they used that expectation to good effect against Bangladesh where they ran out comfortable winners.
Darren Sammy’s side are now back in the reckoning at 9/1 to make their defence a lasting one, however, they will need to improve again with Australia and Pakistan waiting in the fixture list.
England know that another defeat against Sri Lanka will almost certainly mean curtains for their semi-final aspirations and in their current form the layers look to have the prices spot on with Malinga and co installed as warm 8/15 favourites.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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