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T20 Cricket World Cup – Pakistan could face shock elimination

| 14.09.2012

Pakistan don’t have the firepower to win back the trophy they lifted back in 2009, though they have a top slow bowler in Saeed Ajmal who can guarantee them wickets.

Ajmal is 9/1 joint-favourite to be the tournament’s top wicket taker, but he will need some help from his comrades in the batting department if his country are going to seriously compete in the World t20.

His incredible t20 figures suggest that the only thing that will stop him claiming this accolade is Pakistan’s progress in the tournament.
60 wickets in 42 matches at an average of 15.48 runs and three four-wicket hauls to his name makes for impressive reading. He is sure to cause problems on the turning wickets of Sri Lanka where legendary spinner Muttiah Muralitharan took the bulk of his 800 Test wickets.

Pakistan have appeared in the World t20 final more times than any other nation, yet a group consisting of New Zealand and Bangladesh – by far and away the strongest of the minnow nations – they could struggle to ensure progress to the competition’s latter stages.

The fitness of Shahid Afridi could be crucial to their chances of progression. The all-rounder, notorious for his slogging abilities, has been struggling with a finger injury and missed the recent t20 series with the Australians.

His strike rate of 142.53 with the bat shows how quickly he can take the game away from the opposition if he gets his eye in, whereas an economy rate of just 6.11 tells you he’s handy with the ball too – he’s also the World t20’s top wicket taker.

He can be backed at 20/1 to be Pakistan’s top runscorer.

If he proves his fitness, this could prove profitable as top order batters priced far shorter, such as Mohammed Hafeez and Umar Akmal, come into the tournament with averages in the low 20’s and struggling for form, which could end up with Afridi having more time in the middle than Pakistan would like.

All odds and markets correct as of publication

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Author

James Middleton