THE knockout stages of the Cricket World Cup begin early on Wednesday. Joe Drabble (Joe_Drabs) takes to the crease with his best bets.
Sri Lanka v South Africa | Wednesday 03:30 | Sky Sports 3
The knockout stages start in Sydney on Wednesday morning and we kick off the quarter-finals with a cracker. Both Sri Lanka and South Africa won four and lost two of their six group matches and are now three wins away from lifting the World Cup.
While I don't fancy either side to go all the way, both possess dangerous and world class players and you can expect them to come to the fore at the SCG on Wednesday.
In AB de Villiers, Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan, three of the four highest run-scores will be on show, and for South Africa skipper De Villiers, he'll be returning to the scene of the world record 150 he smashed against the West Indies earlier in the tournament.
I'm expecting another run-fest tomorrow: Sri Lanka have posted four successive scores of 300+ and South Africa have twice breached 400. Keep your eyes on the innings spreads after the toss, however the only concern is the weather and the prospect of a reduced overs game.
While there is little to separate the sides in terms of batting, the bowling is by far superior in the South Africa changing room. For this reason, South Africa are justifiably the odds on favourites and at 8/15 with Stan James I'm happy to back them to get through to the semis.
De Villiers is once again the key man and is 5/6 to score more than 36.5 runs with Ladbrokes – I'll take that spread. He is too short at 4/1 to be top match batsman but Kumar Sangakkara, on the back of four consecutive World Cup hundreds, at 7/1 with Skybet is not.
Sri Lanka v South Africa – South Africa to win (8/15 Stan James)
Sri Lanka v South Africa – Kumar Sangakkara Top Match Batsman (7/1 Skybet)
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