Ed Hawkins previews the decider in Cape Town on Saturday after the hosts pulled off a surprise win in Centurion
"With such a heavy bias it would not be rational to get with India at [1.72] before the flip. Fine if it goes their way"
South Africa v India
Saturday February 24 16.00
TV: live on Sky Sports
South Africa bounce back to set up decider
Hello, where did that come from? South Africa, kicked from pillar to post by India since the limited-overs stuff began, suddenly discovered some mojo and won a game. And how.
Set a stiff 189 to win, they did so with ease, chasing the target with eight balls to spare. JP Duminy, the skipper, and Heinrich Klaasen were the stars.
Duminy made 64 from 40, which was blistering. But in comparison to Klaasen he was the anchor. The wicketkeeper was brutal, smashing 69 from 30, including seven sixes.
For all the disappointment that injuries to Faf Du Plessis, Quinton de Kock and Ab De Villiers bring, it is a major fillip that Klaasen has been given an opportunity. They have found themselves a serious player.
The same might be said of pacer Junior Dala, who was again in the wickets. It is imperative he keeps it up, though, because Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morekl and Imran Tahir have been rested.
Perhaps India were guilty of complacency at the halfway point. The status quo remained firmly in position at that point. And why not? India were skinny odds-on.
MS Dhoni and Manish Pandey had tucked into the South Africa bowling to go at nearly ten an over for the last ten. Dhoni (will his powers ever wane?) hit 52 from 28 and Pandey 79 from 48. It was an important knock from Pandey, whose talent is not in doubt. He needs to really cement his place now.
But India didn't have the same verve and skill with the ball, probably because they dropped Jasprit Bumrah and once again failed to pair Yuz Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. Those two have been the architects of India's dominance.
Chahal was missing his mate so much that he went for 16 an over. And in that statistic is the game. Perhaps they will play both here. Otherwise Jaydev Unadkat, expensive, could make way for Bumrah.
Here are the first-innings scores for the last 17 T20 matches at Newlands (not including reduced-overs matches): 169-2/178-2/134-2/150/177/72-2/151/165/158/154/127/146/146/129/140/154/153. That is an average of 147. Note how there have been only four scores of more than 160.
South Africa's win at Centurion has made this game tougher to call. In addition, there is some confusion over the toss.
We know what Cape Town is like under lights, right? Yep. Bat first and then raze the chaser with a swinging, seaming ball. Well, not so. That plan bears fruit in ODI but not T20. You do the opposite.
In nine day-night and night matches, seven have been won by the team fielding first. Batting second is so easy, it would seem, that a Sri Lanka outfit which should struggle in such conditions, got after 169 without a care last time out.
With such a heavy bias it would not be rational to get with India at [1.72] before the flip. Fine if it goes their way. We expect the price to hold because most in the market may believe that it is a negative to chase. South Africa are [2.36] and a fair wager if the toss goes their way.
Reeza Hendricks notched 41 from 34 in that game against Sri Lanka, although it was not enough to top score. He will probably go off around the [4.3] mark. Klaasen looks like a [5.0] chance. Keep an eye on Farhaan Behardien's price. We have said this throughout the series but he scores runs so fast in the middle-order he could be value at plus [8.0].
Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have been so reliable that at least one comes off every game. But not in Centurion. Dhawan had a decent crack at it but failed to go on from 24 while Rohit and Kohli contributed one run between them. Can that happen again? Probably not. And Kohli will be well supported to notch for the first time in the series.
Ed Hawkins P-L
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. New points system (0.5pt-5) introduced for 2017. Includes Hawk-Eye stats column p-l