South Africa v New Zealand 1st T20: Kiwis solid value for upset

Du Plessis leads the hosts
Du Plessis leads the hosts

Ed Hawkins previews the first of two T20s between two experimental teams and says the visitors have been underrated in Durban on Friday...

"This could well be a shoot-out with the ball and if that is the case the Kiwis represent stonking value"

Recommended Bet
Back New Zealand at 2.767/4

South Africa v New Zealand
Start time: 17.00BST
TV: live on Sky Sports

South Africa

South Africa are trialing some green players with one eye on the World T20 next year but the presence of AB De Villiers, who will open and keep wicket, Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis will reassure punters.

However, the Proteas are without their top three wicket-takers over the last two years - Imran Tahir, Dale Steyn and Wayne Parnell. Kyle Abbot and David Wiese, although impressive, can still be classed as having a lot to prove.

Morne Morkel is tried and trusted. He will shepherd an attack which will also could include two from Kagiso Rabada, Eddie Leie and Aaron Phangiso.

New Zealand

Like the hosts, the Black Caps are not at full strength. Brendon McCullum, who is rested, Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Ross Taylor could be considered glaring omissions.

They still have plenty of talent on show. Kane Williamson leads and will open with Martin Guptill, the top runscorer in the World Cup. Grant Elliott and Luke Ronchi provide power and nous at Nos 4 and 5 respectively.

Jimmy Neesham and Colin Mnro provide hitting ability in the lower order while two all-rounders Nathan McCullum and Doug Bracewell will bat at Nos 8 and 9.

Adam Milne, Matt Henry and Mitchell McClenaghan are the pace options. Certainly Milne and McClenaghan impress while Henry, like Wiese and Abbot, still has much to prove.

Series odds

South Africa are 2.01/1 to win the two-game series with New Zealand 3.55/2. The draw is 1.910/11. But there's no point taking the price about the hosts when you consider they are 2.26/5 on the series score. Likewise New Zealand, who are 5.04/1.

Match odds

South Africa are 1.558/15 to win game one. That's a short price about a side who are rated sixth-best in the world and are experimenting. New Zealand are 2.767/4 and we rate that a good bet.

There is little to choose between the sides and it is even possible to consider the Black Caps have the edge with the ball. McClenaghan and Henry are two potent bowlers and we would have more faith in them than South Africa's pacers.

Bowling should be key on the 'Green Mamba' at Kingsmead. A green surface is expected for a contest which is taking place before even spring has arrived. This could well be a shoot-out with the ball and if that is the case the Kiwis represent stonking value.

New Zealand were on the wrong end of such a game three years ago in Durban when they were rolled for 86. If they get the chance to bowl first expect them to take it. The weather forecast is good.

First-innings runs

The average first-innings score in the 10 completed first digs at Durban is 154. But there have been some low totals, including that Kiwi collapse in 2012. More than 160 has been breached only five times which suggests that prices of lower than 1.51/2 about such a total looks bad value. The last five scores in domestic T20 read: 126-82-169-194-181.

Top South Africa runscorer

De Villiers and Amla are no better than 3.7511/4 and 4.3100/30 respectively. If the ball does zip around they don't look value. Du Plessis, who top scored at the venue against the Kiwis, is 5.04/1 and will bat at No 3.

Top New Zealand runscorer

Williamson and Guptill are both rated as 3.7511/4 shots. But Williamson has scored more than twice as many runs in this format than his partner in the last two years. Colin Munro, top scorer in 2012, has a live chance at 8.07/1 but Elliott and Ronchi both appeal at 7.06/1 and 9.08/1 respectively.

Recommended Bet

Back New Zealand at 2.767/4

Ed Hawkins P/L

2015: +£232.80
2014: +315.10
2013: +250.80
To £10 level stakes (unless otherwise stated), based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate.
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