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Cricket World Cup 2015 Semi-Finals: Updated Odds, Betting Tips and Predictions

Published by Bleacher Report on Sat, 21 Mar 2015

The final four is set for the 2015 Cricket World Cup, as New Zealand booked their place in the semi-finals after an emphatic win over the West Indies.That victory means they will face South Africa in the their last-four encounter, while fellow co-hosts Australia tackle reigning champions India.Arguably, the four finest sides in the world occupy these coveted berths, and as such, we should be treated to two spectacular encounters from Down Under.But for those looking to make some money on these matches, where does the value lie with the bookmakers' Not just in terms of the semi-final matches, but when it comes to the odds for the tournaments outright winner.Heres a look at how the bookies are seeing it and a closer examination of the best bets to lump on in the remaining weeks of the tournament.India to beat Australia, 2/1The reigning champions didnt look in the best of shape in the build-up to this tournament, but as soon as the serious stuff got underway, theyclicked into gear superbly. Having won all of their matches so far, they look well priced at 2/1 to topple the co-hosts.As noted by BBC Test Match Special, Indias bowling attack has been firing on all cylinders at this World Cup:Thatll stand them in good stead against Australia. While the Baggy Greens were relatively comfortable in their own quarter-final win against Pakistan, some of their batsmen were easily found out by the aggressive bowling of Wahab Riaz. David Warner and Michael Clarke both fell to the short ball, while Shane Watson was dropped off a very similar delivery.MS Dhoni would have been buoyed watching on and will be hoping his men can execute similar plans with the ball in hand. Mohammed Shami has been superb for India so far, with the seamer proving to be a master of frustrating the batsmen and subsequently capitalising on loose strokes.As noted by OptaJim, Shami has a penchant for inducing erratic shots from players:Australias batting line-up is pretty formidable, but if theres one team in this competition capable of nullifying their big-hitting stars, then its India. Pakistan nearly executed their plans to perfection, and with a little more ruthlessness, they could have made their match in Adelaide a very tight finish.By contrast, India have the players who know whats required to get over the line in big World Cup matches, as well as a far superior batting line-up to their great rivals to better back up their bowling.With the co-hosts likely to be under massive pressure and thousands of India supporters set to be in situ for this encounter, expect the champions to march on to another final.Semi-Final 2 Prediction: India WinNew Zealand to Lift the Trophy, 9/2After conquering Australia in a nail-biter in the group stages and winning a knockout match in emphatic fashion against West Indies in the quarter-finals, Brendon McCullum and his team seem to have overcome some enormous mental hurdles. Now they look primed for a tilt at taking this title for the first time in their history.As noted by ESPN cricinfo, they may have one more psychological obstacle to overcome, though:Ahead of this win over the West Indies, this Black Caps team were looking in exceptional shape, with McCullum bludgeoning opposition bowlers at the top of the order, Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Daniel Vettori shining with the ball and all personnel looking razor sharp in the field.But given the exploits of Martin Guptill, they look even more formidable going into the last four.As we can see here courtesy of Bleacher Report UK, the New Zealand opener bagged a record-breaking score in the win over the West Indies:Theres a growing sense that this is a New Zealand team that is not only bristling with quality but possesses an intensity of spirit that will see them to glory.Theyll be going into the lion's den for the Melbourne final should they get the better of the Proteas, but unlike previous Black Caps squads, this group seems to have the mental strength required to flourish in such circumstances.Semi-Final 1 Prediction: New Zealand win
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