The Betfair market fancies a South African victory but this enigmatic Pakistani side are well capable of an against the odds win, says Richard O'Hagan
South Africa v Pakistan
South Africa represent something of an unknown force. Having destroyed a feeble Zimbabwe side and then out-biffed Sri Lanka in a seven over thrash, they come into this game somewhat undercooked. You know that, as with any Proteas side, they will be packed full of potential game winners, but you also know that their problem will again lie in getting enough of those gamewinners performing at the same time to beat a very good Pakistani side. One thing is for sure, though - if they persist in batting Jacques Kallis down the order (as they did on their recent tour of England) then their chances of victory will be greatly reduced.
Pakistan waited and waited before they were scheduled a game in this tournament, but now the matches are coming thick and fast. If they make it all the way through to the final they will have played a game every day for two weeks. Whilst that may be tiring, it also develops a sense of routine in a camp and Pakistan could well benefit from it. Their batting has looked in fine form. Captain Mohammed Hafeez has been his usual steady self at the top of the order, opening partner Imran Nazir finally has the freedom to play his shots and Nasir Jamshed has been a revelation at number three, a prince among willow swordsmen (at least in this competition). The bowling is more of a worry, with all of the quicks having been uncotrollably expensive at one time or another and little support for Saeed Ajmal in the spin department.
Top South Africa batsman
South Africa, like India, have so many big name batsmen that it is hard to find real value. However, opener Richard Levi has finally looked to be returning to some sort of form and handed out a sound thrashing to Zimbabwe's attack. Pakistan's can be no less wayward, so back him at [5.1]
Top Pakistan batsman
Nazir and Jamshed have been the standouts for Pakistan so far, but the best price out there is the [4.6] on Hafeez, who is in just as good form but is simply less showy about it. The man they call The Professor is very good value at that price.