Group C Preview: Three-way battle between West Indies, New Zealand and Afghanistan in ‘Group of Death’

Group C Preview: Three-way battle between West Indies, New Zealand and Afghanistan in ‘Group of Death’

The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 had a cracking start on June 1st with USA chasing down 195 inside 18 overs against Canada. The tournament hosted by the United States and the West Indies is set to deliver more thrilling action with the bigger matches coming up in the next few days.

The T20 World Cup 2024 has a total of 20 teams compared to 16 in the previous edition, making this the biggest edition of this ICC competition. Teams are placed into four different groups, with the top two teams from each group advancing through to the Super Eight stage.

As the tournament gets heated up, We bring you a look at who could be the winner of Group C, which comprises Afghanistan, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Uganda and West Indies. Three games have been completed in Group C so far, with Afghanistan thrashing Uganda, West Indies beating Papua New Guinea and Uganda outplaying Papua New Guinea.

Group C is called the group of death as there are three genuine contenders for the top-two spot unlike two in other groups. So three matches will be crucial in deciding who tops the group. Afghanistan and New Zealand are scheduled to face off on June 7th in Barbados whereas West Indies and New Zealand will play on June 12th at Tarouba, Trinidad. Afghanistan will take on West Indies in the final group fixture on June 17th at Gros Islet, St Lucia.

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Odds of topping Group C (22Bet, Betwinner, Parimatch)

Below you can see the odds of each team topping Group C in this T20 World Cup.

West Indies2.102.102.10
New Zealand2.8752.8752.87
Papua New Guinea

Recent form of teams

West Indies: W W W W W

West IndiesWest Indies played one warm-up game against Australia at Port of Spain, where they smashed 257 in 20 overs with Nicholas Pooran scoring 75 in just 25 deliveries. Rovman Powell struck 52 off 25 while Sherfane Rutherford made 47 off 18 to set up a 35-run victory. The hosts faced Papua New Guinea in their T20 World Cup opener at Providence Stadium, which they won by five wickets. They were in a tricky spot while chasing 137 but Roston Chase’s unbeaten 42 off 27 pulled them through.

New Zealand: NR L W W L

New ZealandNew Zealand did not get to play any warm-up fixtures ahead of the T20 World Cup 2024 tournament so they will have to rely on experience and hit the ground running straightaway. In February this year, they played a three-match T20I series against Australia and were defeated by 3-0. Later in April, they toured Pakistan for a five-match series without many of their top stars and managed to draw it by 2-2.

Afghanistan: W L W W W

AfghanistanAfghanistan played two warm-up games in the build-up against Oman and Scotland. They didn’t get to bat in the first game as the match was called off after the first innings. Against Scotland, they posted 178 runs on the board in 20 overs with Gulbadin Naib scoring 69 off 30, and clinched the game by 55 runs. Afghanistan kicked off their campaign with a massive victory over Uganda by 125 runs. Rahmanullah Gurbaz smashed 76 off 45 while Ibrahim Zadran made 70 in 46 deliveries. Defending 183, Fazalhaq Farooqi snared 5 for 9 in four overs as they bowled out the opponents for only 58.

Uganda: W L W L W

UgandaUganda have played two matches in Group C, winning one and losing one. They suffered a heavy defeat in the first game, losing by 125 runs against Afghanistan but then pulled off an unexpected win over Papua New Guinea by three wickets. Frank Nsubuga conceded just 4 runs in four overs and picked two wickets while three other bowlers picked two scalps each as well. Chasing 78, they lost half the side for 26 runs before Riazat Ali Shah made 33 runs to help his side win their first T20 World Cup game.

Papua New Guinea: W W L L L

Papua New GuineaPapua New Guinea haven’t had an ideal start to their campaign, having lost both their games so far and their chances of any miracle have diminished. They lost the opening game against West Indies by five wickets, where they fought well while defending 136 but it wasn’t enough. PNG were favourites to win their second fixture against Uganda but ended up losing by three wickets. Batting first, they could only manage 77 on a difficult pitch to bat on. Norman Vanua and Alei Nao picked two wickets each to drag the game into the 19th over.

Upcoming fixtures Group C

New Zealand vs Afghanistan

Odds for New Zealand win: 1.45 (Parimatch)
Odds for Afghanistan win: 2.76 (Parimatch)

New Zealand will kick off their 2024 T20 World Cup campaign on June 8th with a crucial clash against Afghanistan at Providence Stadium, Guyana. Kane Williamson-led New Zealand are heavy favourites to win this game and have the odds of 1.45 on Parimatch.

These two teams have faced each other only once with one fixture getting washed out due to rain. In their clash in the 2021 T20 World Cup, Black Caps defeated Afghans by eight wickets. They have a much stronger batting line-up for this game and their pace unit will be a big challenge for the opponents in these conditions.

Afghanistan were outstanding in their game against Uganda at this same venue, where their openers scored individual 70s and pacers were magnificent. Afghanistan have a potent spin attack and they can’t be taken lightly here. If you want to bet on an Afghanistan win, you should do it on 22Bet where the odds are higher at 3.175.

West Indies vs Uganda

Odds for West Indies win: 1.008 (22Bet)
Odds for Uganda win: 16.00 (22Bet)

West Indies are scheduled to host Uganda at Providence Stadium, Guyana on June 9th. The two teams have not competed against each other before but the home side will head into the game as heavy favourites with the odds of 1.008 on 22Bet.

West Indies have a destructive batting unit, much stronger than Uganda. They had a bit of a struggle in the run-chase against PNG and would want to be more clinical in this game. Their bowling attack is considerably better than Uganda as well.

Uganda were hammered by Afghanistan in the opening game but bounced back to beat PNG in a low-scoring contest at this same ground. But facing West Indies won’t be easy and they would need a collective performance to pull off an upset. If you want to take a punt on Uganda’s win, do it on 22Bet at the odds of 16.00.

Who will top Group C?

Looking at the market and the teams involved, it is a three-way battle in Group C with West Indies, New Zealand and Afghanistan all in contention to be top of the group. West Indies are the favourites and you can bet on them at 2.10 on Parimatch. New Zealand have slightly higher odds of topping Group C with the odds of 2.875 on Betwinner. Afghanistan are a big threat in these conditions and they have the odds of 3.50 on 22Bet to top the group.

West Indies are one of the only two teams to have won the T20 World Cup twice, and playing at home they will fancy their chances of adding another to their cabinet. New Zealand is a side that has done well in ICC tournaments in recent years and even topped their group ahead of England and Australia in the previous edition of the T20 World Cup. Afghanistan are the third favourites in the group but on pitches that offer spin and movement, they stand a good chance of making it to the next stage.

Papua New Guinea and Uganda are the weakest sides in the group. Uganda have won a game against PNG but they don’t stand any real chance of topping the group. PNG have lost two out of two and are out of the contention. Assuming the top three teams win their two games against PNG and Uganda, it would come down to three games.

Afghanistan and New Zealand take each other on June 8th and the latter should come out on top given the strength in their bowling department. West Indies vs New Zealand could be the most important clash to decide the winner of Group C, and it could go either way on a given day. West Indies and Afghanistan will face off in the final group match, and the hosts would be favourites to win that game. All in all, Group C is highly unpredictable, and the battle is tighter than one would think.

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