Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe: Kulasekara and Taylor set for big performances
Sri Lanka are an unbackable 1/8 to kick off the World t20 with a win against Zimbabwe, with punters having to delve into the batsman and bowler markets in order to extract some good prices.
The Zimbabweans come into this one having lost an incredible 12 t20s on the spin, which means only some kind of adrenaline junkie would look past Sri Lanka in this one, however, in the opening partnership handicap stakes, the underdogs stand a good chance.
With 8.5 runs added to their total, Zimbabwe should be well placed to outscore the tournament hosts at a price of 5/6. Their opening pair have managed scores of 24 and above in three of their last five which, with 8.5 runs added to, has been a greater score than all of Sri Lanka’s last five.
With reports emerging from Sri Lanka that the tracks set to be used have a bit of zip to them, it could make things hard for spinners this tournament. This makes Nuwan Kulasekara a good bet at 6/4 to take more wickets than Ajantha Mendis in the opening game.
Mendis doesn’t turn the ball much and, for this reason, could struggle to make an impact in the tournament, plus his recent battle for fitness could also hinder his ability to take wickets.
Kulasekara, on the other hand, has been playing regularly for the hosts and has taken seven wickets in his last five making him great value for money at 6/4.
In the top runscorer handicap market, Zimbabwean captain, Brendan Taylor is a good shout with a +5 handicap.
He’s notched two scores north of 50 in his past four and, if he turns that form on again here, he might not require the five runs his handicap will bring him. At 4/1, he could prove excellent value for money.
All odds and markets correct as of publication