Friday, 31 May 2019

Preview - World Cup group match 2 - West Indies vs Pakistan

Today's match is at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.

If any ground in the world has taken over the mantle of "most batting friendly ground in the world" from the Antigua Recreational Ground in St Johns, it's Trent Bridge. The groundsman seems to have taken WG Grace's famous statement "they came to see me bat, not you bowl" to the next level. The pitch seems to have been designed to make batting as easy as possible.

As a result the par score here is quite high.

Score 290 here, and you're on the wrong side of recent history. In order to have a 75% chance of winning after batting first, your team needs to score 349.

If anywhere is going to see 500 achieved, it is likely to be either Nottingham or Southampton (which also has a bowler-hating groundsman).

The regression model that I used in the previous article gives Pakistan a 73% chance of coming out on top in this match. However, the West Indies have been looking better recently than they were a couple of years ago, and Pakistan (conversely) have been looking like they're at a low ebb. As a result, this match feels more like it could go either way.

Pakistan have a habit of lifting their game significantly when they get momentum, and, as a result, have had a very good record recently against all the teams who are not currently ranked in the top five. The West Indies will need to start well to avoid Pakistan getting on a roll. 

This match is an important fixture for both sides, as a loss here will mean that the losing team will need to beat at least two of the top five ranked teams if they are to progress to the semi-finals.

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