England v South Africa
Wednesday 27 July, 18:30
TV: Live on Sky Sports
England sweat on Bairstow
England are in better fettle thanks to rain in Leeds. After a crunching win in the second ODI, South Africa looked to be turning the tables on them again. The jury remains out on a revamped England white-ball unit.
There could be more shuffling. Jonny Bairstow is an injury doubt. That means Phil Salt could be drafted into No 3 or Dawid Malan returns to his natural position. A berth would open up lower down in a finishing role for Salt or Harry Brook.
Moeen Ali is likely to be important with the bat. As discussed in our series preview, England have lost two left-hand options in the retired Eoin Morgan and the rested Ben Stokes. Moeen should bat as high as No 5. He could even bat at No 4.
With the ball Reece Topley should bring ODI form to the table. Richard Gleeson surely gets another game after a strong start to his career against India.
Possible XI: Roy, Buttler, Malan, Moeen, Livingstone, Salt, S Curran, Jordan, Rashid, Topley, Gleeson
South Africa welcome back Kagiso Rabada after he was rested for the ODI series. It is possible that he could prove to be the difference between the two.
Indeed, South Africa may have the edge with pace. Rabada being paired with Anrich Nortje, both excellent in the IPL for Delhi once upon a time, should cause England problems.
The visitors are likely to use two spinners in Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj considering they have, rather surprisingly, left out all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius from the squad. Wayne Parnell looks like a shoo-in for the all-rounder's slot.
With that bat they have big boy power in the middle order with Aiden Markram, David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen. Markram might, might open the batting in place of Reeza Hendricks if South Africa want to add an extra finisher in the form of Tristan Stubbs or Rilee Rossouw.
Possible XI: De Kock, Hendricks, Van der Dussen, Markram, Miller, Klaasen, Parnell, Maharaj, Rabada, Nortje Shamsi
In the last eight matches at Bristol in the Blast, there have been four scores of 170 or more in first-innings. But we're wary of going hard on the runs market either way. The surface often offers a fair contest between bat and ball.
And we have seen that in the Blast. Kent were rolled for 114 last month. The game before Gloucestershire smacked 193 against Sussex. In 2018 England failed to defend 198 against India. That was the last T20 international played there.
Sportsbook go 8/11 both teams score 160 and 6/4 that both score 170. Bet the Sportsbook markets here.
Will South Africa attack?
South Africa have won ten from their last 13. They also beat England in the Wold T20 last time on the head-to-head.
On form, and man for man, South Africa probably deserve more respect than the 2.407/5 available. England are 1.684/6. The latter is mighty short about a team which lost to India earlier this summer and West Indies in January. Bet the match odds here.
The edge for England is in the mind. They have been dangerously aggressive with the bat throughout and that is important. South Africa, by contrast, flit between carefree hitting and chronic fear of failure.
If the South Africa that chased 211 against India in Delhi turns up we've got a good bet on our hands. If not, we may feel like mugs.
Quinton de Kock, denied a ton in Leeds by the weather, has been boosted to 11/4 for top South Africa bat. Jos Buttler has been boosted to 3/1. Both prices are with Sportsbook.
Moeen looks value based on where we think he will bat at 11/1. Markram is noticeable at 5s because of the potential of him opening. Rabada is 11/4 for top South Africa bowler. He is also 11/1 for man of the match. Bet the Sportsbook markets here.
England v South Africa in-play strategies on Cricket...Only Bettor