England play South Africa in the third one day international at the Oval on Friday having lost their title as the world’s best 50 over side after Tuesday’s crushing defeat.
After the first match at Cardiff was abandoned with just six overs played, South Africa dominated England from ball one at Southampton and posted a total that proved way out of reach of the home side. After taking the world No.1 test mantle from England, South Africa have wasted no time taking the 50 over crown, and are now the best side in the world in all three formats.
In the second match at Southampton, South Africa posted a massive 287-5 as Hashim Amla scored a magnificent 150. Amla justified his individual ranking as the world’s best one day international bastman with a measured innings, in which he accelerated at the perfect moments to leave England’s bowlers clueless. Amla’s innings included 16 fours and was a joy on the eye, but England and Craig Kieswetter specifically didn’t help themselves as the Somerset wicketkeeper dropped the batsmen twice. Both were fairly tough chances, but the drop of spinner Samit Patel when Amla had just 42 proved to be extremely costly.
Betfred Online Bookmaker bets:
8/11 South Africa, 11/10 England.
England seem clueless currently as to how to beat an excellent South African side, and particularly how to get the top 6 South African batsmen out. Graeme Smith also added a half century at Southampton as once again England’s bowlers failed to take early wickets. Throughout the test series, South Africa looked imperious with the bat, and this form seems to have stayed with them. Friday’s match will not be any easier for England’s bowlers, as it is at the venue where less than a month ago Smith and Amla batted for what seemed like an eternity. Amla’s triple century at the Oval will still firmly be in his mind and in returning to the same ground on Friday will seemingly only have one result, another century.
The problems for England are not just in the bowling department sadly, but in the batting as well. Most of England’s top order got starts at Southampton, but then all got themselves out with rash, uncalculated shots. Only Samit Patel was able to pass 40, but his late runs came when the game was already gone. As if things weren’t hard enough for England, Dale Steyn may well return if not on Friday then in the fourth game to give South Africa an even more formidable outfit.
The key for England on Friday will once again be early wickets, as South Africa’s middle order is not overly strong, but to be honest with a top four of Smith, Amla, Duminy and De Villiers in the form they are in, it doesn’t matter in the slightest.
There is seemingly only one winner on Friday at a batsmen’s paradise, and England surely have to bring young Jonny Bairstow back into the fold if they are to have any chance.
England v SA 3rd ODI betting tips
The tip is South Africa to win at 4/5 with Stan James, but that generous price may not last. BetVictor, Betfred & Ladbrokes are next best at 8/11. If you want to ignore our advice, then eternal optimists can bet on England at biggest odds of 6/5 with Bet365 or Paddy Power.