Ed Hawkins says punters should keep faith with the Zimbabwe batsman in Bloemfontein on Wednesday
"Chatara sends it down with a good lick and his record against the big boys (Australia, India, Pakistan South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies) in international cricket is impressive. He has 34 wickets in 29 matches."
Chatara catches the eye
Tendai Chatara jolted South Africa awake in the first one-day international. They were snoozing on the job and Chatara's two wickets for 12 was a rude awakening. "Hang on, chaps, we better focus here".
Chatara sends it down with a good lick and his record against the big boys (Australia, India, Pakistan South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies) in international cricket is impressive. He has 34 wickets in 29 matches.
We were kicking ourselves rather that we weren't on him for top Zimbabwe bowler. Statistically he is between a 13/5 and 11/4 chance and much bigger was available. He's been cut slightly for this one but there is still nothing wrong with the 7/2 that is available.
It is a bit of a worry that the Bloemfontein wicket is so flat that the biggest threat to South Africa's batters could be, once again, boredom. Indeed, nothing would surprise us. Part-timer Solomon Mire might get an over or two and take two wickets to win the thing with batsmen hitting them straight up in the air.
Indeed, it was dead heat rules in the first match because Wellington Masakadza got a couple of cheap ones to deny Chatara full honours.
Still, Chatara has skill and pace and that is more than can be said for some of his team-mates. If all was fair in love and war he'd win easy. It never is, though, so the wrong price should be a cosy comfort blanket.
Betfair Sportsbook go 5/6 overs/unders for 18.5 runs scored in the first five overs at the Mangaung Oval. That could be slightly too low, even if Zimbabwe bat first.
The wicket is fast and true and playing through the line of the ball is risk free, something which should help Zimbabwe be more competitive with the bat this time after their disastrous showing in game one. South Africa should bust over inside four overs.
Stay true to Taylor
With Zimbabwe at 53 for four in Kimberley, this column was metaphorically beginning to rub its hands with glee. Our pick for top Zim bat, Brendan Taylor, was at the crease with his eye in. He had only 25 to beat by Hamilton Masakadza. Then he edged a good one from Kagiso Rabada to Reeza Hendricks at slip. Deflation.
It happens. We can produce all the stats we like to make a case for a batsman going well and the odds being wrong. But, when it comes down to it, that hard work has absolutely no relationship with a snorter from one of the best bowlers in the world.
Before Kimberley we said that Taylor cops 27 per cent of the time so the 7/2 was clear value. He's 7/2 again. It would be a shame to lose faith now, particularly on a terrific batting wicket.
2018 - points p-l: +3.95 (57 points staked)
2017 - points p-l: +5.29 (26 points staked)