T20 World Cup Betting: South Africa v Zimbabwe

There's no shortage of power in the SA batting lineup

Ed Hawkins, who has tipped the Proteas for outright glory, looks at the best bets ahead of their opener in Hambantota tomorrow

"South Africa should be capable of blowing Zimbabwe away"

Lay Zimbabwe for 120 or more at around 1.855/6

Start time:
Television: Sky Sports 1
South Africa
The Proteas have played only one warm-up but they looked an effective enough outfit to suggest that game time was not what was required. They beat New Zealand by nine runs.

South Africa opened up with Richard Levi and Faf du Plessis but one of those is expected to make way for Jacques Kallis. The engine room of AB De Villiers and JP Duminy looks one of the best around. Dale Steyn looked a real danger and he claimed four Kiwi wickets for just 25 runs.

Predictably Zimbabwe were crushed by Sri Lanka in their opening match. But there were some encouraging performances. Graeme Creamer, the leg-break googly bowler, was miserly at 6.75 an over. He picked up a wicket, too. There was no shame in the performance of opening bowler, Kyle Jarvis, either. He will have been more than happy with 7.75 an over when the pressure was on.

There was little to get excited about with the bat, however. Elton Chigumbura managed a strike rate of 100 with his 19 but otherwise the Zims look short of class.

Venue and conditions

Sri Lanka posted 182 against Zimbabwe at Hambantota and it has to be said that when the hosts batted the wicket did not look as sluggish as one would have expected. Still, Zimbabwe made it look like a minefield and it could pay to get against them to post more than 120. We suspected their batting was horribly weak and South Africa should be capable of blowing them away.

Match odds

South Africa are as short 1.11/10 with Zimbabwe 10.09/1. Ordinarily we might suggest Zimbabwe were worth a back-to-lay at such a price but we can't be confident they will even get a foothold in the game.

Top South Africa batsman

De Villiers warmed up nicely with a half-century against New Zealand in double-quick time. He is likely to go off as big as 5.004/1, though, because he is slated to bat at No 4. Kallis should open the batting and is more reliable than Levi, who can be a maniac in his quest for quick runs.

Top Zimbabwe batsman

Hamilton Masakadza top scored with 20 against Sri Lanka - a reminder that we are not wagering on a Zim being outstanding rather than not being marginally less woeful than his team-mates. Brendan Taylor might drift in price once the market settles after his failure in game one as he was too skinny at around 3.505/2 first up. If you can get prices of more than 4.003/1 he may be the best option as he has decent ability.

Featured market
The highest individual score market is set at over/under 68.5 and one would be confident that South Africa's class acts with the willow could make inroads. However, it may pay to wait until the toss. The last thing one wants is to take a price and then watch as Zimbabwe get shot out for 100 batting first.

Recommended bet
Lay Zimbabwe for 120 or more at around 1.855/6

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