Rain ruined Group One in this round of games but the action on the field in Group Two has very much kept up with the crazy trend of this World Cup. Twists and turns at every corner none more so than the chaotic encounter between Zimbabwe and Bangladesh which the Tigers won. New Zealand and South Africa also triumphed again with Pakistan picking up their first win of the tournament. Afghanistan, Australia, England and Ireland all fell victim to the inclement weather in Melbourne.

However, now the tournament is switching base with the main hubs in Adelaide and Brisbane as the race for the semi-finals heats up although rain could well douse the flames in Tuesday’s games.

Australia v Ireland

It’s been a quiet start to the tournament so far for the Perth Scorchers man, but Mitchell Marsh could prove to be a valuable option in the games to come starting against Ireland. He has dominated the Big Bash for years and showcased his big stage ability in the World Cup last year and with him starting to bowl again too, he is looking a more complete option.

He’s had a quiet start to the Super 12s, but hero of the first round Curtis Campher could come into his own in this game. With the strength of Australia’s bowling at the start of an innings, he could be needed to play a lengthy and key innings much like the one against Scotland where he showcased his all round game with the bat.

Predicted XIs

Australia: Aaron Finch ©, David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Tim David, Matthew Wade (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood

Ireland: Ireland: Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie ©, Lorcan Tucker (wk), Harry Tector, Curtis Campher, George Dockrell, Gareth Delany, Mark Adair, Fionn Hand, Barry McCarthy, Joshua Little

Afghanistan v Sri Lanka

Lahiru Kumara struggled against New Zealand as centurion Glenn Phillips took a liking to him but as he has demonstrated in previous games, his pace combined with changes in length can trouble batters. Afghanistan batters notably struggled against Mark Wood and whilst Kumara isn’t no Wood, the similar problem remains at a bouncy Gabba.

It’s been hard to judge Afghanistan this tournament seeing as they’ve only played once. However, wicketkeeper Rahmanullah Gurbaz could use a weakened Sri Lankan attack to his advantage on Tuesday. The destructive opener blasted 84 against the same opponents in the Asia Cup and will enjoy the quick nature of the Gabba pitch.

Predicted XIs

Afghanistan: Hazratullah Zazi, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Usman Ghani, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammed Nabi ©, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi

Sri Lanka: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Charith Asalanka, Dasun Shanaka ©, Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Kasun Rajitha, Maheesh Theekshana, Lahiru Kumara

England v New Zealand

New Zealand’s new ball display against Sri Lanka was akin to what we’ve become used to from them, and you could really choose either of the infamous duo. However, Trent Boult is my choice. England’s top order is looking shaky, and batters are unsure of their roles. His skill to bring the ball back into right handers and away from left handers could exploit the weaknesses on show.

There has been little to sing about for England’s batters so far but one who has emerged with their head held high is Moeen Ali. His bowling responsibilities have reduced but his clean ball striking ability nearly rescued the Ireland game and he was also at the crease at the end in the Afghanistan end. His quick scoring nature lends itself perfectly to the extra points for a high strike rate and has a favourable matchup against Mitchell Santner.

Predicted XIs

England: Jos Buttler (c, wk), Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood

New Zealand: Finn Allen, Devon Conway (wk), Kane Williamson ©, Glenn Phillips, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult

Zimbabwe v Netherlands

All rounder Sikandar Raza has been relatively quiet in the Super 12s but against weaker opposition in the Netherlands that could change. His off spin picked up a couple key wickets against Pakistan to turn the tide and his powerful and attacking batting approach could reap its rewards at a smaller ground in Adelaide.

A common theme of the tournament has been Dutch batters struggling with the quick nature of the pitches, but their bowlers haven’t disappointed and again my choice here is Paul van Meekeren. He was impressive against Pakistan and was economical across his spell before dismissing Mohammed Rizwan. His accuracy will test the patience of the Zimbabwean batters.

Predicted XIs

Zimbabwe: Craig Ervine ©, Wesley Madhevere, Sean Williams, Milton Shumba, Sikandar Raza, Regis Chakabva (wk), Ryan Burl, Brad Evans, Richard Ngarava, Blessing Muzarabani, Tendai Chatara

Netherlands: Max O’Dowd, Stephan Myburgh, Colin Ackermann, Tom Cooper, Scott Edwards (c, wk), Tim Pringle, Roelof van der Merwe, Shariz Ahmad, Logan van Beek, Fred Klaassen, Paul van Meekeren

India v Bangladesh

It was disappointment against South Africa, but Suryakumar Yadav was the one who stood out with the bat. He’s been doing this for most of the year and always seems to have an answer to the bowlers with his wristy and classical shots. He is a very good timer of the ball which allows him to find gaps in the outfield with ease and always work fielders whether that’s with boundaries or twos.

Bangladesh have an up and down tournament which can also be seen in Taskin Ahmed’s form. However, he is one the top wicket takers in the Super 12s stage for a reason and that’s because of his new ball bowling and ability to trouble batters with swing, pace and accuracy. India struggled against South Africa’s battery of bowlers and Ahmed could bring back bad memories.

Predicted XIs

India: Rohit Sharma ©, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh

Bangladesh: Najmul Hossain Shanto, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan ©, Litton Das, Afif Hossain, Yasir Ali, Nurul Hasan (wk), Mosaddek Hossain, Hasan Mahmud, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman

Pakistan v South Africa

Sydney could well be the setting to one of the best combinations of quick bowling attacks in World Cup history. Choices aplenty on both sides but Mohammed Wasim is my selection. He has six wickets in the tournament at an average of just 6.50 and it is his ability to nail searing yorker after searing yorker that particularly catches the eye along with changes of pace.

Cast your minds back a year or two ago and Wayne Parnell wasn’t anywhere near the picture for South Africa, but he has reborn his career and has four wickets already this tournament with a very impressive three wicket haul against India. He has shown he can bowl in both the powerplay and death, the two hardest times in T20 cricket. Also, who remembers Babar Azam getting out to a left armer a couple of games ago?

Predicted XIs

Pakistan: Babar Azam ©, Mohammed Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Shan Masood, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammed Wasim Jr, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi

South Africa: Quinton De Kock (wk), Temba Bavuma ©, Rilee Rossouw, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Tristan Stubbs, Wayne Parnell, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi

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