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South Africa v Pakistan 2nd Test Betting: Cape of hope

Pakistan's bowlers have been in good form

"Understandably it is difficult to feel confident about Pakistan notching a big one"

Recommneded bet
Lay Pakistan for 325 or more first-innings runs at around 1.804/5

Ed Hawkins seeks a tenth consecutive winner and he has a confident pick for the Cape Town Test which starts on Thursday

South Africa v Pakistan
Start time: 08.30 GMT
TV: live on Sky Sports 1

South Africa
The home side are in cruise control after their thumping victory in the first Test by 211 runs. Dale Steyn was the destroyer as he claimed 11 wickets, including six in the first innings when Pakistan were dismissed for their record low of 49. South Africa's own batting was not too hot in the first dig but AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla restored normal service with a century and half-ton respectively. Robin Peterson, the spinner, has a squeak of making the headlines. Newlands is the most spin-friendly surface in the country but, then again, it takes pace, too.


Pakistan
The big worry about Pakistan for this tour was always going to be the batting, the bowling would take care of itself. And that proved correct in Johannesburg. They dismissed South Africa for 253 first up with Umar Gul and Junaid Khan combining superbly with the new ball. Mohammad Hafeez was a surprise wicket-taker with four beauties. In terms of strengthening the batting they have few options. Haris Sohail, a reserve batsman, has left the tour with an injury and has not been replaced. Expect the same XI save for Mohammad Irfan coming in to replace Rahat Ali. Irfan took seven wickets in the warm-up for this Test and his 7ft-plus frame could unsettle South Africa.


First-innings runs
Here are the last ten first-innings scores at Newlands (most recent first): 45-580-284-362-291-209-243-157-414-593. It's a mixed bag and provides us with an average of 318. A couple of scores to pick out are the 45 blitzed Kiwis last time and the 157 was totalled by Pakistan in 2007. There were low scores in 2011 also by South Africa (96) and Australia (47). It is swing that has been the tormentor-in-chief. Bowlers like Ryan Harris and Shane Watson have cleaned up. Understandably it is difficult to feel confident about Pakistan notching a big one so the best value is to get against them for 325 or more. The forecast is pretty good with a few showers knocking around on day one.


Match odds
South Africa are skinny at 1.454/9. Fair enough given how they laid waste to Pakistan in the first Test. The tourists are 7.006/1 with the draw 5.709/2. But Pakistan are in the game here, folks. Their potential to trade much lower should be clear. Dangerous bowling attack, tricky batting track and some overcast conditions. All they need to do is win the toss and bowl first. If they don't, we may never see their price again, disappearing into space. A back-to-lay is a good option but only if the toss goes their way and it is not one to let ride, either as South Africa have lost only two Tests in CT since 1995.


Top South Africa batsman
Grit was required last time against New Zealand in fine bowling conditions so Alviro Peterson, with a technique as tight as his temperament was to the fore. He notched a century and will go off at around 5.509/2. Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis enjoy favourite status at 4.30100/30 respectively.


Top Pakistan batsman
Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq top the lists at 4.507/2 each and that is understandable given that their wily experience will be key. Younis showed form in the warm-up with 74. Younis was in the Pakistan side which was beaten at CT in 2007 but he had little to shout about. Hafeez also played but was another doormouse.


Recommended bet
Lay Pakistan for 325 or more first-innings runs at around 2.506/4

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12 February 2013

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