England v South Africa
Vitality IT20 series, third match (of three)
Sunday July 31, 2022, 2.30pm
The Ageas Bowl, Southampton
Earlier this month, England were tied 1-1 after two games of each ODI series against India and South Africa. The first decider was lost at Old Trafford, the second washed out at Headingley.
Now, it is hoped it will be third time lucky. If so, our pre-series punt on England to win 2-1 at 6/4 will be secured.
Game two in Cardiff was a pretty frustrating affair, highlighted by the fact that a total of 356 runs were scored in the match when I had suggested that under 355.5 was the play.
England are a best-price of 11/18 to win this game. But I would be more than happy to cheer them on to victory for a winner on that pre-series bet and look for some more value elsewhere.
Batting talent on show and recent trend points to a winner
Bet365 have marked up the highest individual score in this match at over or under 71.5 at 5/6 apiece. I would be going over that mark.
England have played five T20 matches in the last few weeks, and in three of them, including both against South Africa, batters have topped that mark.
Dawid Malan 77, Suryakumar Yadav 117, Jonny Bairstow 90, Tristan Stubbs 72 and Rilee Rossouw 96 are the men.
I’d be happy to take that bet to get what we hope will be a day of winners up and running.
Buttler starting to show signs of a return to form
After peaking at the IPL earlier this summer, and then for England in the Netherlands, you can forgive Jos Buttler for a trough in his form over the last few weeks.
Just one half-century in 11 internationals. But the last two games against the South Africans have indicated that another big score might be around the corner.
He hit 22 off seven balls in game one at the top of the order and then 29 off 14 in game two.
For an opener of his quality, the price boost to 3/1 from 13/5 which Paddy Power are offering on him to be England’s top run-scorer has definite appeal.
To further strengthen our case, two of his four top T20 international scores - 77 against Australia in 2020, 73 versus Sri Lanka in 2016 - have come on this ground.
Century in the match with Betfair looks appealing
Now, I have to admit this is a bit of a flyer, so this should be a low stakes approach.
But Betfair’s price of 17/2 on there to be a century in the match has caught my eye. Compare it to a couple of other sites, for example. Bet365 have the same bet at 6/1 and Grosvenor Sport have it at 15/2.
There is so much batting talent on show across these two sides and Jonny Bairstow and Rilee Rossouw have gone close already in this series.
And in 2013, Aaron Finch scored 156 for Australia at Southampton, which remains the third highest score in T20 international history. It was a record at the time.
It would not surprise me at all if this came in.