South Africa v England
Sunday 29 January, 08:00
TV: Live on Sky Sports
South Africa pulled off a stunning win over England in game one. The visitors were cruising at 196 for three but the hosts roared back thanks to rockets from Anrich Nortje and Sisanda Magala.
It highlighted their strength and allayed fears about their weakness. A total of 299 looked to be below par but England's struggles revealed a two-paced pitch.
South Africa have more bowling stock in reserve - Lungi Ngidi and Marcos Jansen await a chance - but they will surely be unchanged.
Probable XI: De Kock, Bavuma, Van der Dussen, Markram, Klaasen, Miller, Parnell, Magala, Rabada, Nortje , Shamsi
England's selection appeared to be a massive gamble. Jason Roy's poor form and Jofra Archer's fitness meant eyebrows were raised when they were named in the XI.
Roy produced a brilliant knock. Archer was pricey and it woul be extraordinary if he played back-to-back. Chris Woakes could come in to help the batting but Reece Topley would be a smart pick to take over death duty.
Possible XI: Roy, Malan, Duckett, Brook, Buttler, Moeen, S Curran, Willey, Rashid, Stone, Topley
The good news is that the series stays at Bloemfontein. A similar surface can be expected. That means there should be runs up front after the roller has been on but it should get more two-paced as the match wears on. For that reason, both to score markets are perilous. How did both for 275 not cop? The shrewd play is going over 280 in the first dig.
How to play
England's problem in the chase reared its head again. South Africa's strength batting first was also evident. It's now eight wins from the last 12. Bloemfontein could be the perfect pitch for them.
Therefore it would be crackers to get involved with England at prohibitive prices before the toss. They're unbackable chasing. South Africa have a clear route to victory at 2.245/4.
The toss is key for the top bat markets. As we said, it could be at its best early on in each innings. Tons from Rassie van der Dussen and Jason Roy bear testament to that. They are 7/2 and 10/3 for repeat top-bat wins. Other openers Quinton de Kock and Dawid Malan are 11/4 each.
With the ball, Nortje the destroyer still looks big at 3s. Topley likewise at 4s cosnideirng if he plays he should bowl at the death.