Ed Hawkins is frustrated with the tourists but still thinks they can trade as favourites in-play in Durban on Thursday
South Africa have been forced into a change after Faf du Plessis was ruled out with a back injury. The batsman will miss the final two ODIs and has been replaced by Quinton de Kock, the Lions' wicketkeeper-batsman. De Kock will not keep wicket with AB De Villiers retaining the gloves. De Kock played in the series defeat by New Zealand without lighting any fires.
The Pakistan pace quartet is beginning to break down with Umar Gul and Mohammad Irfan both doubts for the final two matches. Sohail Tanvir, the left-arm fast bowler who bowls off the wrong foot, has been called up as cover. He is in South Africa preparing for the domestic Twenty20 competition. Irfan has been struggling with a stomach bug and a hamstring injury. He would be a big miss as he is their leading wicket-taker with six at just a shade over 11. Gul, who missed the third match, has been out of sorts so his continued absence is not a cause for concer.
Here are the last 10 first-innings scores at Durban: 222-289-286-263-248-351-248-246-106-267. That is an average of 252. The stand out total of 351 in that selection was by Pakistan in 2007. This match is not under lights so we should not worry about the toss bias at Kingsmead. In the seven day matches four have been won by the chasers. South Africa have four wins from six. The average runs per over is 4.90.
In the third one-day international Pakistan were hopeless with the ball, conceding 343 for five. In the previous match they had been brilliant with it. Throughout the series they have been dodgy with the bat, now they found form. They came close to favourite status as they went down by 34 runs as Shahid Afridi and Wahab Riaz almost blasted them to an unlikely victory. So who knows what they will produce in Durban. And, frankly, it is becoming an increasing irritant for gamblers. As ever Pakistan are 2.6613/8 and we can comfortably make a case to trade them at such odds. It has paid off in the last two matches. As ever South Africa are 1.608/13 and we do not get involved at such odds. A lay of the hosts could also pay dividends. Although the toss is not important from a statistical point of view, one would rather be backing Pakistan/laying South Africa if the tourists were batting first. We have seen in this series that Pakistan can be horribly wasteful with the ball and they can often need something spectacular to get a trader back in the game. However, Pakistan betting guru Salman Victor reckons his countrymen can take charge and predicts them to be hot favourites at as short as 1.402/5 in running. The weather forecast is good.
Top South Africa batsman
Hashim Amla has consecutive half-centuries in Kingsmead against Australia and India respectively. But he is too short at 3.7511/4. Amla is second on the run charts to De Villiers, who has 198 runs, and together the pair set a recoord for a partnership in the last match. De Villiers is 4.30100/30. Graeme Smith is 5.004/1. De Kock, whop opened against New Zealand, is not expected to be given a top-order berth.
Top Pakistan batsman
In 2007, when Pakistan posted that monster total, Younis Khan and Afridi helped do the damage. Younis hit 83 from 98 balls and Afridi 77 from 35. Afridi had ground, and recent form, so could be worth a shout at 11.0010/1 but he coes in too low really. Younis is 5.004/1.
Back-to-lay Pakistan at 2.6613/8