The third game of the series takes place at SuperSort Park Centurion on Tuesday, with an 11.30am GMT start, 1.30pm local, a day-night game
England won the second match of the five match series in Port Elizabeth at the weekend, restricting South Africa to 263 batting first on a slow wicket, with their seam bowlers to the fore before 99 from Alex Hales and late hitting from Jos Buttler took them to victory with over 3 overs to spare.
England’s progress as an ODI side is dramatic and in composition the line up covers all bases. They have big hitting batsmen at the top of the order, finishers at 5-7, late order all-rounders, young seamers who bowl well at both ends of the innings, good spinner and an excellent fielding side. “Gun” players like Taylor and Bairstow currently cannot make the line-up, so this is a team with strength in depth.
South Africa meanwhile are injury hit and lack depth in their batting resources though the bowling line up looked much more competitive for long spells of the second match with Abbott, Rabada and Morkel bowling on a pitch that wasn’t completely flat.
Centurion should be different in two respects than the second ODI. Firstly the pitch should be a batting paradise and the outfield is fast. A high scoring game is a strong possibility. Secondly the game is a day-nighter. The first side bats in daylight, the second under lights and as such there is a toss bias in the game with teams winning the toss and batting winning ODI day-nighters at a 60% clip under these regulations.
In the outright market England won the first two games at 11/8 and 11/10 underdogs respectively. For this game, markets full of recency bias have priced the match up at 10/11 each of two, which looks to price in England’s short term form, at last.
This though is a format with plenty of variance, mainly in winning the toss and in the likely conditions for Centurion South Africa have every chance of getting on the board.
In terms of sub-markets my main focus is on batting markets in this game, where on a likely good batting pitch the highest scores should come from the first three in each order.
Within the England three of Hales, Roy and Root its not surprising to see Root 100/30 favourite and Hales scored 99 in the last game and is in at 7/2. Roy tends to struggle with technique against the moving ball but is a real flat track bully and an interesting value price at 9/2 with William Hill for this game
For South Africa De Kock has been in great form, Amla less so. De Villiers batting number four is 3/1 favourite, De Kock 7/2 and Amla 4/1 with Skybet which is the value price here.