T20 Betting: England can make South Africa sweat again

Finn is England's top bowler

Ed Hawkins, the SJA Betting Writer of the Year, is confident that the hosts can sign off a disappointing summer in style by producing a good performance at Edgbaston in the last Twenty20 international before the World Cup

"England are value in a format where favouritism can swing on one ball"


England back-to-lay at 2.206/5


England
The home side look a more balanced unit with the introduction of Luke Wright, the all-rounder who batted at No 4 and bowled fourth. He replaced Ravi Bopara and it would be a surprise if they chopped and changed again.

Wright looked likely to take England to victory with the bat before he holed out and the rain returned at Old Trafford on Monday, five balls before a result was possible. He also performed superbly with the ball, taking one wicket off his only over which went for just four runs.

Steven Finn also impressed, taking two wickets with the new ball and he is such a important player now for England. He is the go-to man and looks capable of key breakthroughs.


South Africa
There was no Faf du Plessis for the tourists on the former Lancashire batsman's 'home' ground. Instead South Africa paired the Morkel brothers in a line-up and brought back Hashim Amla at the top of the order. He was thrilling again and is one of the classiest batsmen to watch anywhere in the world in any format at the moment.


Venue and conditions
Right, the weather. There is, alas, a bit of rain around, but there doesn't look to be enough to prevent a result in this day-night affair.

There have been only two T20 internationals played at Edgbaston - both between Pakistan and Australia. Pakistan batted first each time, posting 167 and 162. They won each time.

In what is hopefully not an omen, three out of five domestic T20 matches were rained off this term. The first-dig scores were 149 and 173. So weather permitting it would be reasonable to expect 150 to be breached.

Match odds
Despite the weather in Manchester it was a close contest. This rather vindicated those who took big odds about England, particularly as a back-to-lay play.

This time around there remains little faith in Stuart Broad's team. Again we do not think that is fair. At 2.206/5 they represent the value in a format where favouritism can swing on one ball. A good, solid wager to end the summer international contests. South Africa are 1.824/5.


Top England batsman
Eoin Morgan and Jonny Bairstow catch the eye at 5.004/1 and 6.4011/2 respectively. Wright may not bat as high again because he was promoted purely because the match had been reduced in overs. Craig Kieswetter and Alex Hales are favourites at around the 4.507/2 mark.


Top South Africa batsman
It was Amla who, once again, top scored for South Africa, this time notching a perfectly composed 47 from 30 balls. It meant he has recorded career bests in all three formats this summer. Jacques Kallis is expected to return to the the top of the order after being shunted down for the nine-over affair. That also means Albie Morkel is unlikely to be as high as No 4. Amla is 4.10.



Recommended bet
England back-to-lay at 2.206/5

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