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Cricket World Cup: Final Pool games coming thick and fast

| 14.03.2015

In a group-phase that has lasted exactly one month, it is only as the final matches approach that the ICC decide to lump a flurry of games together in the schedule.

Throughout the first four weeks of the competition fans have been lucky if they have had two matches in a day to feast on, but with just four battles left before the knockout stages begin, they can gorge themselves on three in one 24-hour span.

Leading off the feast is India, who hold the fortuitous position of having a sixth win in a row as their only motivation, against Zimbabwe.

The Auckland encounter will be the Eagles’ last game with Brendan Taylor among their ranks, as the wicketkeeper-batsman leaves the set up to embark on a county cricket career with Nottinghamshire.

Having developed into a real force in the competition, India are strong 1/10 fancies to win their sixth and final Pool B match and are unlikely to be deterred from that pursuit.

Australia, another already settled into their quarter-final spot, take on Scotland next as even greater certainties at 1/100 to win.

In his pre-match press conference, Michael Clarke indicated that Shane Watson was one player who needed more time in the middle. Expect him to shift up the batting order in such pursuit and, to that end, take the 8/11 on him scoring more than 20.5 runs.

Rounding off the Full Member v Associate trio is the West Indies’s tussle with the UAE.

Jason Holder’s side must win in their final match to stand any chance of reaching the quarter finals, but they then have to rely on results elsewhere to finally book their place.

Providing they complete the job against the UAE at a price of 1/16, they must switch their attention to Ireland’s battle with Pakistan.

Due to Ireland’s weaker net run rate of the pair, it is a Pakistan victory that will help Holder’s men advance.

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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.