Sunday 2 June 2019

Preview - World Cup group match 5 - South Africa vs Bangladesh - The Oval

Today Bangladesh get their campaign underway, and South Africa get a chance to bounce back from their early loss.

This is predicted to be a win for South Africa, but I think the betting market are overstating the difference between the teams. Most of the bookies have an implied chance of winning of about 76% for South Africa, but my early model had them at 67%, and after their loss to England and Bangladesh's recent series win over West Indies (which looks more impressive now that West Indies have turned out to be quite good), the gap has shortened to 66.6% for South Africa vs 33.4% for Bangladesh.

The Oval pitch is one where there has been variety of conditions recently, so it's hard to know what a good score is until both teams have batted. Here's the historical graph:

The numbers have all dropped down by 2 or 3 runs as a result of the last match. 

One thing that does not play to Bangladesh's advantage here is the pitch. This is probably the bounciest pitch in England, and is more like a South African pitch than a typical English pitch. Bangladesh, however, play on probably the lowest, slowest pitches in the world.

If this match was at Taunton or Old Trafford, then Bangladesh may well be favourites. But not at the Oval. I'd expect South Africa to do well here. If they don't, then the semi-finals suddenly look a very long way away indeed.

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