South Africa v England Third T20: Hosts up against it again

Jason Roy
Roy could miss out

It's the final match of the T20 series with only pride at stake in a dead rubber in Cape Town on Tuesday and Ed Hawkins is hoping for an in-play drift on England before getting involved...

Back England in-play chasing 180-220 from 1.9010/11 or better

South Africa v England
Tuesday 1 December 16.00
Live on Sky Sports

Weak South Africa

There is the sense that there is a considerable gulf between these teams in terms of ability. For a start, South Africa's inability to play the big shots, while England play them with the ease of a nudge, makes it an unfair fight. South Africa's boundary percentage is not in the same league.

And that has proved the difference. South Africa have been in both games until the death until England found an extra gear. Compare Dawid Malan's brilliant innings in game two (striking at 137) with that of Rassie van der Dussen whose 25 from 29 balls did not contain a single boundary. That was as bad as it gets.

The best chance South Africa have of matching Quinton de Kock's strike rate is to get Heinrich Klaasen into the game more. At No 6 he is wasted and they should consider him at No 3. They have at least found some hitting power in the shape of George Linde at No 7.

Possible XI De Kock, Bavuma, Hendricks, Dui Plessis, Van der Dussen, Klaasen, Linde, Rabada, Nortje, Shamsi, Ngidi

England could shuffle pack

England have achieved their objective - winning with a game to spare so they can experiment. That could spell bad news for Jason Roy.

Roy is on a poor trot and he will come under pressure from Tom Banton to partner Jos Buttler. Alternatively, Malan could be promoted to offer a left and right combo. Ben Stokes may also be under consideration.

Moeen Ali, Sam Billings, Mark Wood and Reece Topley will be vying for a spot. But Chris Jordan and Jofra Archer will be hard to displace because they are only on tour for the first leg, leaving before the ODI series.

Possible XI Banton, Buttler, Malan, Bairstow, Stokes, Morgan, S Curran, T Curran, Jordan, Archer, Rashid

Pitch report

Back to Cape Town where eight from 14 under lights have been won by the chaser with one tie. South Africa have a poor record, winning only four of 13. South Africa busted the average in the first game, posting 179. It wasn't enough and probably won't be again. Of those 14 matches under lights, 150 has been busted eight times. The first-innings scores in the Mzansi Super League (1-2 denote match won by side batting first or second, most recent first) last year read: 173-1/157-1/181-2/163-1/183-1. No rain is forecast at the moment.

Easy trade

South Africa are 2.727/4 and England are 1.558/15. We don't play at such short favourite odds, instead looking for bigger numbers in-play. England took a bit of a drift in the chase into 1.608/13 territory in game two and they were outsiders in the chase in game one. A repeat of that would suit because, as we have said from ball one, we fancy England to chase up to 220.

The hosts may hope to chase this time as batting first has not worked out. That would make an in-play trade tougher as we are more confident of England's batting supremacy and South Africa's position as the most profligate in the field of the big eight in the last 12 months.

Tops value

Buttler and De Kock have both been boosted from 5/2 to 3/1 for top bats for their respective teams. De Kock managed a win last time but with just 30. You could say he is overdue a score. Buttler definitely is and that price will no doubt prove popular. Buttler and de Kock are 4/1 and 9/2 for top runscorer in the match. Malan is now 10/3 second favourite for top England bat, displacing Roy who is out to 7/2. Stokes is 11/2, a price worth noting if you are of the mind that England might try to replicate his IPL form as opener.

The best bet may be Lungi Ngidi as top South Africa bowler. He is steadfast at 7/2, despite being South Africa's most potent wicket-taker.

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