Ed Hawkins crunches the numbers to find value on the side markets for game two from Paarl on Sunday...
Openers could dominate again
Sportsbook have taken an interesting view on the top-bat markets for game two. They have price-boosted Jos Buttler and Quinton de Kock to 3/1 each for highest England South Africa runscorer respectively.
Have they spotted something we haven't? A quirk in technique? Ponderous footwork? Or are they trying to drum up interest?
Taking on two of the most reliable openers in the world in this format could be considered a risk, particularly on a wicket which could be flat and hard after a day of baking hot sun. In the Mzansi Super League, openers have dominated, top scoring ten times in the last 16 innings. Both men were initially priced at 5/2.
Buttler and De Kock were both rated at 13/5 for the first match in Cape Town. Buttler, confirmed as England's opener after speculation he could revert to a finisher role, managed only seven from six. De Kock was looking good with 30 off 23 before a misjudgement off Chris Jordan.
Are they value on win rates in the last two years at the 3/1, which translates as 25% probability. Yes. Buttler's win rate is 28% and De Kock 35.
But there are problems with both. Buttler's record is put in the shade by Dawid Malan, who has five wins in 13. And De Kock by Faf Du Plessis with four wins out of nine. Du Plessis also has the advantage of this being a home venue.
On a decent wicket and with rivals circling this is the time where we keep our fingers crossed that Sportsbook offer prices 'to score a 50'. Alas they don't.
A possible alternative is going for De Kock for top match runscorer at 9/2. He is 4/1 on career win rate. Buttler is 4/1 but has a win rate significantly inferior to those odds at 6.9%. However, the number is skewed because he was previously in the middle order. There is an edge on Du Plessis on the same market. We give him a 16.6% chance but Sportsbook go 13/2 (13%).
We are keen on Heinrich Klaasen as a middle-order hitter of note. Klaasen showed his worth in game one by striking at 160 and had he batted through until the death he could have rivalled Du Plessis' score. The 8/1 Sportsbook offer is a decent price. For England we retain faith in Malan at 4s, keeping our fingers crossed he hasn't suddenly hit a bad patch after a ponderous start in the warm-ups and the real thing.
SA last two years top bowler wins/matches
Phehlukwayo 3 2t/18
Rabada 1 2t/9
Ngidi 4 4t/11
SA last two years top bat wins/matches
De Kock 5/14
Du Plessis 4/9
R Hendricks 2/14
Van Der Dussen 2/16
England last two years top bat wins/matches Bairstow 4/18