After the rain washed out the majority of the second ODI between South Africa and England on Friday, the two nations will settle the series in Johannesburg on Sunday in what is the annual pink ODI in this part of the world.
South Africa will know they can’t lose the series now and a win will give them the spoils outright. England have to win this one to maintain their fine record of not losing many series in recent times so everything is on the line in this one.
If we are honest, nobody really knew what to expect from South Africa going into this series given that they are under new captaincy and clearly heading in a new direction. With that in mind, many will be positively surprised with what they saw in the opening game of the series. There is little point in dwelling on what happened in the second game because the threat of rain was always lingering over proceedings.
In that first game South Africa held their nerve with the ball with the England openers were going hard at them, came good in the middle of the innings and showed wonderful discipline at the back end to restrict England to a score which was never enough. Perhaps more impressively though was the way they raced to the finish line in the run chase. That was an excellent performance and if there is more to come then South Africans should be very excited.
On the flip side of that, England looked like a rusty team, one which was playing their first 50 over match since the highs of winning that World Cup. We shouldn’t really compare their performance on Tuesday with that of the final at Lords though because they were without probably their three main players from that match. England pride themselves on their depth these days though so it will be disappointing that those coming in had minimal effect.
Critics of this England side will be quick to point out that once again when a pitch wasn’t a flat road they were wanting with the bat. That has been their Achilles heel over the last four years, and even threatened to derail their World Cup bid and they don’t look to have learned too much. The flip side of that is they were able to at least offer up something defendable rather than collapsing completely in a heap, which was a positive.
You would think with the pace and bounce on offer in The Wanderers’ wicket that Lungi Ngidi will come back and miss the T20s if he needs to. Bjorn Fortuin didn’t see a lot of action on his ODI debut but it might be needs must here.
England are talking about playing Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali but whether they actually end up playing two spinners on a rainy day in Johannesburg I have my doubts I must admit. Matt Parkinson could be vulnerable either way.
Unfortunately the forecast for this match isn’t a great deal better than it was for Durban on Friday but we might see a little more play so I wonder if there is an opportunity of a near no lose bet. I say that because if we took the performance of Reeza Hendricks and he doesn’t cover his line with the bat, and the weather comes before the end of the fielding innings we will get a refund. If he does cover with the bat though we will get paid out.
Hendricks looked pretty good at Durban in the short period of play that was possible there and this is his home ground so he will know conditions. I would imagine in any sort of shortened match Hendricks will be the man they all bat around and not take too many risks. In terms of risk this might be a low risk bet and not a whole lot more than a free go at a winner. His performance line is 31.5pts so it shouldn’t need much play with the bat to cover that. I’ll take the over.
Back R.Hendricks’ Performance – Over 31.5pts for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365