Ed Hawkins previews game two from Johannesburg on Sunday and picks out two tops wagers for the home team...
"It’s a crazy price about a pacer who should be the favourite. He wins outright at a rate of 29% in the last two-and-a-bit years"
South Africa v Pakistan
Sunday 3 April, 09:00
TV: live on BT Sport
South Africa fought hard in the first game in Centurion, twice scrabbling off the ground to stand toe to toe with Pakistan. But they couldn't find the knockout blow.
Batting first, Pakistan's pace attack brought them to their knees at 55 for four. But Rassie van Der Dussen produced a superb 134-ball 123 and David Miller a fifty as they posted a competitive 273.
Their pace bowlers couldn't do the same damage with the new ball, though, as Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam guided Pakistan to 186 before the loss of the second wicket. And from there, South Africa sensed a chance. That vaunted pace attack of Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo and Lungi Ngidi took it to the final ball.
Possible XI Markram, De Kock, Bavuma, Van Der Dussen, Klaasen, Miller, Phehlukwayo, Rabada, Nortje, Ngidi, Shamsi
Pakistan play fast and loose
Pakistan were having a right old chuckle to themselves about how in a chase of 273 they went from 186 for one to 256 for six and then requiring three off the last two balls. Faheem Ashraf, coolness personified, even had the nerve for a leave.
"We just wanted to make it exciting," joked Imam. Hilarious. Such japes do little for Pakistan's reputation for chaos and disorganisation, however. They should have won at a canter.
Babar Azam, majestic as ever, stroked a brilliant ton. He is the star of an impressive batting line up all the way down to No 8 with the excellent Faheem. Pakistan went heavy on pace combining Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf and the tyro Hasnain. Rauf, despite two wickets, was a little pricey. They may give Hasan Ali a go or test the hosts against the mystery spin of Usman Qadir.
Possible XI Imam, Fakhar, Babar, Rizwan, Aziz, Asif Ali, Shadab, Faheem, Afridi, Hasnain, Rauf
The Wanderers' reputation as a road is not as robust as it once was. Here are the first-innings scores in the last ten ODI (1-2 denote match won by side batting first or second, most recent first): 256-2/231-2/164-2/289-2/163-2/361-1/262-2/349-1/358-1/343-1. As you will spot the trend for runs has plateaued and with it a toss bias has emerged for the chaser. The rule seems to be: break the bat to bust 340.
But only Pakistan have the attitude for such a score. They are third behind England India on strike rate in the last two years. South Africa are way down at No 8. Until the hosts take off the handbrake, they are destined for mediocrity. On the flip side, South Africa are second to only New Zealand for economy and Pakistan are second-worst behind India. So one could cancel out the other. In short, more than 300 in the first dig could well be a lay at around 2.206/5.
Pakistan can get foothold
Defeat in game one has checked South Africa's upward tick. After a dismal World Cup ruined by injuries, they took a draw of England at home and then beat Australia three-zip. It's another new beginning with Temba Bavuma the new skip.
Bavuma should be confident they can bounce back although few punters would agree they are value to do so at 1.674/6, particularly with that recent toss bias. Pakistan are 2.466/4. With such a potent new-ball attack, the visitors are worthy of a trade at such a price. No rain is forecast.
Sportsbook have price-boosted Quinton de Kock to 11/4 for top South Africa bat. It's value on win rate. We rate him as a 33% chance, so we have 6.6% points. De Kock has good record at the venue, averaging 48 in seven matches with one ton and two fifties.
There's an even bigger edge on the home top bowler market. Ngidi is 7/2 (22.2% probability ) with Sportsbook. It's a crazy price about a pacer who should be the favourite. He wins outright at a rate of 29% in the last two-and-a-bit years. By contrast Rabada, the jolly at 5/2 has a win rate of 19%. It's reputation over record pricing.
Babar is nowhere near value at 9/5 for Pakistan top bat on win rate. Imam, however, is a touch at 7/2.
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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. Includes Hawk-Eye stats column p-l & COB Best Bets year end