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South Africa v Pakistan Third Test Betting: Big priced tourists worth a trade

Junaid Khan could bolster Pakistan

"Pakistan should have the ability to trade shorter"

Back-to-lay Pakistan at 7.006/1

Ed Hawkins thinks the tourists have a squeak in Centurion in the third and final Test, starting on Friday

South Africa v New Zealand, Centurion
Start time: 11.30 GMT
TV: Live on Sky Sports 1

South Africa
With an unassailable 2-0 lead, South Africa will not worry that they will miss Morne Morkel, who has been ruled out with a hamstring injury. His place will go to Rory Kleinveldt, the Cape Cobras all-rounder. He has three Tests and eight wickets under his belt. Kyle Abbott, the Dolphins pacer, has been added to the squad as cover. Faf du Plessis' spot could be under threat after a poor return. He averages just 28 and Jacques Rudolph could be given the nod.

Pakistan will wait on the fitness of Junaid Khan. If he recovers from the thigh injury which kept him out of the second Test, Pakistan will be able to line-up a potent trio of pace including Umar Gul and Mohammad Irfan. Tanvir Ahmed is expected to miss out. Pakistan could shuffle their batting. Openers Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed have contributed only 76 runs between them. Hafeez will cling on because he is a useful spinner but Taufeeq Umar could get a go.

Innings runs
The average first-innings score in the last ten Tests at Centurion is 288. But South Africa's bowlers will be disappointed if they allow Pakistan to get that many. In the last two Tests India and Sri Lanka have been rolled for 136 and 180 respectively. Only four matches from 17 have been won by the side batting first, which would suggest that the pitch gets better as the game progresses. South Africa have lost only once at the venue. No rain is forecast.

Match oddds
Punters are relying on Pakistan pride in this third Test for value. It is not a great position to find oneself in and in such circumstances we would suggest bet only if bored into a stupor. Still, at 7.006/1 Pakistan should have the ability to trade shorter. If they were to win the toss and bowl (remember the toss bias) and Junaid was fit, they could trouble the South Africa batsmen. Indeed, they have done so throughout the series. The problem has been their woeful batting. It is a concern that any trade could be blown out of the water if they were to bat first. A four-wicket loss in Cape Town was no disgrace, however, and if they could just muster around 375 Saeed Ajmal, a star so far, could do the rest. South Africa are 1.4740/85 and the draw is 5.609/2. It might also be worth checking the liquidity on Pakistan's opening partnership. So far they have managed 9-10-7-0 for the first wicket. You might be able to lay 20 or more for around 2.506/4.

Top South Africa runscorer
AB De Villiers top scored with 99 last time out against Sri Lanka. And in the previous game at Centurion against India he made 129. However De Villiers, who is 5.004/1 was overshadowed by Jacques Kallis who hit a double century. Kallis is 4.507/2.

Top Pakistan runscorer
We would be nuts to bet on Jamshed or Hafeez. Asad Shafiq is the most reliable with 187 runs and Younis Khan is next best with 140. Both men notched tons in Cape Town. They are 6.005/1 and 4.30100/30 respectively.

Recommended bet
Back-to-lay Pakistan at 7.006/1

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20 February 2013

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