Sri Lanka look the safe bet against Pakistan

<strong>PAKISTAN </strong>vs.<strong> SRI LANKA</strong><br />LORD&rsquo;S - TODAY 1.30PM, SKY SPORTS 1<br /><br />THE Twenty20 World Cup has begun with a bang and the Super Eights are now well underway. There has already been some fantastic action and one of the tournament&rsquo;s most exciting teams, Sri Lanka, take on rivals Pakistan this afternoon at the home of cricket. <br /><br />Having already beaten the West Indies and Australia, the Sri Lankans are many people&rsquo;s dark horses to lift the trophy &ndash; mainly down to their outstanding bowling attack, who are perfectly suited to the rigours of the Twenty20 game. Young spinner, Ajantha Mendis, has been the star of the show and his unique, unorthodox style of bowling makes it very difficult for players to get into a rhythm. He varies his pace beautifully and has the ability to spin the ball both ways, which makes him mightily difficult to score against consistently.<br /><br />In addition to Mendis, Sri Lanka also rely on &lsquo;Slinga Malinga&rsquo; and the majestic Muralitharan. The brilliance of their bowling is how regularly they mix up their pace &ndash; probably 50 per cent are slower balls and batsmen have a real struggle in picking each delivery. They are worthy favourites at 4/6 on Betdaq, but the one worry would be if they lost some early wickets, as they don&rsquo;t have the strongest lower order. Yes, Dilshan has developed this incredible scoop shot over the wicketkeeper&rsquo;s head, but it is a risky strategy and I would be worried if they lost two or three of their top batsmen cheaply. <br /><br />An interesting feature of the games at Lord&rsquo;s during this tournament has been how low the run totals have been compared with Trent Bridge and the Oval. There is no definitive reason why this has happened, but spread bettors are advised to tread with caution if considering buying the Sporting Index run quotes. The bowlers could be the stars of the show in this game and that may well lead to some low scores. I&rsquo;m not a fan of the Pakistan batting line-up and they were soundly beaten by England earlier in the week. Afridi is always a danger man, but they struggle to build-up high totals and if they bat second, I think they would find it very hard to chase. <br /><br />It pays sometimes not to be too clever and at 4/6, Sri Lanka look worthy of a decent bet.<br /><br /><strong>POINTERS...</strong><br />Sri Lanka to win at 4/6 on Betdaq<br />Sell first innings runs with Sporting Index<br /><br /><strong>INDIA</strong> vs.<strong> WEST INDIES</strong><br />LORD&rsquo;S - TODAY 5.30PM, SKY SPORTS 1<br /><br />SOME were shocked by the way in which Australia capitulated against both Sri Lanka and the West Indies in this competition, but it is fairly obvious that it wasn&rsquo;t a priority for them and they probably had their heads immersed in the Ashes. <br /><br />One team who cannot be accused of taking this tournament lightly is India. Twenty20 is regarded as the future in the land of the IPL and you can bet your life that the Indian superstars will be going all out to get their hands on the trophy. The Windies were completely disregarded before the event, but they trashed the Aussies which just goes to show that anyone can beat anyone else in this format.<br /><br />Cricket is always seen as the perfect team game, but with Twenty20 it is far more focused on the individual. If Chris Gayle came out and smashed 90 runs from 40-odd balls, it would be virtually impossible for the Indians to win. However, I&rsquo;m of the opinion that they have so much strength in their locker room that they should win this one comfortably. Punters looking for a bet on the top Indian batsman could do a lot worse than backing Rohit Sharma at around 7/2. He has all the shots a batsman could ask for and seems to find the smallest gaps in the field. If any player&rsquo;s game is suited to the hustle and bustle of Twenty20 cricket, then it&rsquo;s this guy and he really could turn out to be a superstar. <br /><br />The outright tournament market looks like a straight battle between South Africa, India and Sri Lanka and at the prices I like the Indians at 7/2 with Boylesports.<br /><br /><strong>POINTERS...</strong><br />India to beat West Indies at 4/7 on Betdaq<br />Rohit Sharma to be top India batsman at 7/2 general<br />India to win the World Twenty20 at 7/2 with Boylesports