T20 World Cup betting preview: Pakistan should extend 16-match winning sequence against Australia

Pakistan are very much at home in the UAE, with in-form captain Babar Azam a worthy favourite in the run-scorer market.

The bookies are finding it hard to separate Pakistan and Australia ahead of Thursday's T20 World Cup semi-final and it's easy to see why.

Both teams have played good cricket thus far with only one defeat suffered between them. That came when Australia ran into an excellent England side but perhaps that shows their vulnerability against the elite.

That game was the only time their batting line up has failed to deliver. Openers David Warner and Aaron Finch have put doubts about their form firmly to one side but if Pakistan can get rid of those two early, they will have a strong chance.

Best bets for Australia vs Pakistan

Pakistan to win - 4/5

Pakistan most sixes - 21/20

Babar Azam top Pakistan run scorer - 2/1

When, where and how to watch

When: Thursday, November 11, 2pm GMT

Where: Dubai International Stadium, Dubai, UAE

How to watch in the UK: Live on Sky Sports Cricket and Main Event

Pakistan haven't put a foot wrong yet, winning each of their matches with ease. They are now on a 16-match winning run in the UAE which, given the room for error in T20 cricket, is remarkable.

When they've batted first, they won by margins of 72 and 45 runs, while when asked to chase down a score, they reached every target with at least five wickets and one over in hand. At this stage, it's worth noting that Australia have won when chasing but lost when batting first.

Admittedly, Pakistan's was the easier of the two groups but they still managed to dismantle both India (10 wickets) and New Zealand (5 wickets), the two big guns in the pool.

Mohammad Hafeez Pakistan Jul21

Their openers have also impressed, Babar Azam was the top tournament runscorer after the Super 12 stage, while partner Mohammad Rizwan wasn't far behind.

Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik have both contributed, while renowned finisher Asif Ali has looked in good nick when he's been asked to bat.

A well-balanced bowling attack has kept opponents in check with spinners Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan tying down batsmen - they have economy rates of 5.23 and 5.89, respectively.

There's also plenty of match-winning pace with Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf having all taken five or more wickets.

All things considered, preference is for Pakistan, who are the slight favourites at 4/5. That looks about right.

Pakistan good bet to hit the most sixes

Mohammad Rizwan Pakistan Jul21

The best bet in the sub-markets looks to be for Pakistan to hit the most sixes.

They've landed this bet in four of their five matches, including against New Zealand and India, plus both games in Dubai. They've hit at least six maximums in three of those games and never conceded more than five.

Azam and Rizwan have six-hitting ability and are in great form, while Asif Ali should chip in late on.

In contrast, Australia have just one market win in the tournament thus far. They've hit more than five sixes one just one occasion.

Their finisher Glenn Maxwell has barely featured and much appears to rest on the shoulders of their openers.

The market makes this a pick-'em affair but again Pakistan look the better bet.

Babar Azam worthy favourite in the run-scorer market

Babar Azam Pakistan vs England Jul21

Finally, I'll go with the flow and back Babar Azam in the Pakistan top run scorer market.

Despite his impressive run tally, Azam has actually only won this market twice - Rizwan has three victories, so you could argue he's the value at 11/4.

However, Azam's record against Australia is considerably better. While Rizwan's filtered average dips against the Baggy Greens, Azam's soars.

He's scored a half-century in four of his six T20Is against Australia. Add that to his four 50s at this tournament and he looks a fully deserved favourite.

Back the captain at 2/1.

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