Past performance is no guarantee of future accomplishment. Which is just as well as my pre-tournament bets have gone right up the Graeme. Sorry, the Swanny. Neither of my winner picks made it out of the group stage, New Zealand succumbing to an inspired Bangles run chase and South Africa digging their own grave and leaping into it with three suicidal run-outs against India. That defeat means my leading run-scorer shout, Hashim Amla, is also blown out. I do have one dog left in the fight, however. Jasprit Bumrah finally chipped in with a couple of wickets against the hapless Proteas and he can now be backed at a mere 500/1 to emerge as the competition's top wicket-taker…
So, let's move on. England and India are big favourites to win their respective semis and meet in Sunday's final. England face the ever-mercurial Pakistan side, whose bowlers have dragged them kicking and screaming into the knock-out phase. I expect England to have too many weapons for the Green Machine in Cardiff on Wednesday, though, and I certainly think the hosts' bowling attack will be far too strong for the often-frail Pakistani batting line-up – see how they did their best to throw it away against Sri Lanka, for example.
India are even bigger favourites to account for the Bangles. We can expect the atmosphere of the tournament in Birmingham, where the two sets of fans will bring colour, music and full body paint to proceedings. But, again, I can see a one-sided contest and India coming through comfortably. Barring a blip against Sri Lanka, the Indians have been pretty ruthless and have won their other two games by wide margins.
This is hardly a bold prediction but I recommend a maximum bet on both England and India to reach the final. You should get about 4/6 for the double. Not the sort of price to make you rich unless you have deep pockets but better than sticking it in the bank.
In the top bowler market, I reckon Mark Wood represents some good value at 20/1. He's currently three behind teammate Liam Plunkett (Josh Hazlewood has one more but, in case you missed it, Australia are out – oh dear, what a pity, never mind) but he's getting better and better with each match. After drawing a blank in the first game, Wood removed Kane Williamson with the ball of the tournament in game two and, against Australia, took a career-best 4/33. He's back to full fitness, is bowling with searing pace and generally just loving his cricket. I can see him slicing through Pakistan before bowling England to a famous victory against India in the final.
And that's my final recommendation. Back England at 13/10 to win the competition. We're the only team with a 100% record, while our chief rivals India showed a sliver of vulnerability in allowing Sri Lanka to chase 322 from an unpromising position. Virat Kohli's men are a general 5/4 (priced that way in part because of a supposedly easier semi-final) but I'm backing the home side to come out on top in a closely-fought final come Sunday.
It's been a cracking tournament, this, and I hope you've found one or two winners if you've been having a punt, albeit not from this column – yet.
Be good. And if you can't be good, be lucky.
Recommended bets at the semi-final stage
England (4/11) and India (1/4) both to advance to the final Approx 4/6 10pts
Mark Wood to be top tournament bowler 20/1 2pts
England to win the tournament 13/10 5 pts