Thursday, November 26, 2009

2nd ODI England v South Africa: Cape Town preview and tips

Cape Town will host England in the third ODI against South Africa. The visitors lead the series 1-0 and a win here for England will mean that they cannot lose the series. This will be a coup of sorts, as the last time South Africa did not win a bilateral ODI series at home was way back in 2001-02!

However, South Africa will draw heart from the fact that their record at Newlands in Cape Town has been near-impeccable. In the 27 games that the hosts have played here, they have lost only three. They will also go into the game on a nine-match winning streak here, and that is probably one reason why Bet Fred offers 4/7 for a South African win. England, who were 2/1 to win the second game is now at 6/4 (Boylesports) to take an unassailable 2-0 lead, and with the issues that South Africa has had with their bowling, it is a reasonable possibility.

South Africa did get to 250 in the previous game, but the captain Graeme Smith wasn’t too far from the truth when he said that the pitch demanded at least 20-30 more runs. Unfortunately for the hosts, the absence of Jacques Kallis, and the early dismissal of Smith (7/2 at Ladbrokes to be their best batsman in this game) pegged the middle order back. Herschelle Gibbs has been called up as cover for Kallis’ injury, and the Proteas may give him another go in desperation. 888Sport offers 9/2 for him to top the South African batting. Alviro Petersen had impressed in the previous match with a run-a-ball 64, and that has put him at 7/1 (Ladbrokes) to repeat the effort.

AB de Villiers did have a chance to get going at number three, but failed. One does sense that he may get another couple of opportunities at that position given that he is a good quality batsman and hence has a good chance of topping the South African batting – Paddy Power offering 4/1 for his top score.

For England, Paul Collingwood had had a field day with the bat, ball and in the field last Sunday. He will continue to be the danger-man and a tempting offer of 11/2 (Totesport) to top his side again, will be eyed by many. Kevin Pietersen (7/2 at Ladbrokes to top the English batting) continues to be the favourite to smash the highest score in the innings, but he needs to settle in and get a start. The other South African born batsman in the English side, Jonathon Trott has acquitted himself rather well in the limited opportunities he has had in all three formats of the game, and should continue opening the batting. 888Sport offers 7/2 for him to top-score the English innings.

The one batsman who has had a good lead-up since shifting to England from Ireland is Eoin Morgan (7/1 at Ladbrokes to be the best batsman for England) and he will look to continue batting in the same vein as the T20Is.

Tags : the English innings,Herschelle Gibbs,South Africa,England in the third ODI