England conclude their tour of South Africa on Sunday when the two sides meet in the third and final T20, which happens to be a decider for the series after two high quality and dramatic matches so far this week.
South Africa drew first blood in the series when England threw away the opening match but the Three Lions bounced back on Friday to level it up, which means that it is winner takes all in this final game in Centurion on Sunday.
Given that they edged out England in that opening match, South Africa will have been disappointed not to win the series in Durban. To be fair you would have given them no chance of doing so at half time in the contest, but despite chasing more than 200, they got down to needing just five from the last three balls, but panic set in and they never got home. They will need to put that behind them and set up another opportunity for themselves here.
The positive for South Africa so far in the series has been that they have batted pretty well apart from a few overs in East London. The negative is that apart from the clutch overs in that first game they haven’t really bowled well and you would think if they are going to win this series here, they will need to up their game with the ball in hand. They saw in the previous match how England can get away from them if they are not on it.
With this series being the start of the preparation for the World T20 later in the year, it has been a perfect first two matches for England. They would have liked to have come out on top in both of them of course, but to have two competitive matches which have gone right down to the wire, and now a third match carrying plenty of meaning after a long tour, they are getting what they needed to out of this week.
They will know there is more to come from them in this format as well, both in terms of players who are to come back into the side in the future, and the ones that are here now. They can probably eek a few more runs out and they can certainly bowl better, but they are building nicely towards a decent tilt at the world crown in the 20 over format, after landing the big one in the 50 over sphere last year.
South Africa have resisted the temptation to play Reeza Hendricks so far so that might change here. Dale Steyn sat out the match in Durban but you would think he is a certainty to play in this deciding match.
Eoin Morgan confirmed that England are going to continue with Jos Buttler at the top of the order so unless they want to give games to Sam Curran, Saqib Mahmood and Matt Parkinson, there is every chance they will be unchanged for this decider.
We have seen two high scoring matches in this series on grounds which aren’t necessarily suited to big scores and now we get to the one which is probably best suited to them so with that in mind, I’m expecting another match full of runs here. Both teams have shown excellence with the bat in the series so far and they have both shown vulnerabilities with the ball, which is exactly what we’re looking for when considering a high scoring game.
The line for this match is 348.5 which is pretty high and needs a first innings score of 175 if the chasing side wins but having just seen both teams score 200 on a ground where few scores of that kind have been posted, you’ve got to think that in day conditions we’ll see scores around that mark once again. We’re at altitude here so the ball flies further and quicker. That all assists the scoring so I like the over here.
WON – Back Over 348.5 runs for a 4/10 stake at 1.80 with Betway