England v South Africa
Royal London ODI series, second match (of three)
Friday July 22, 2022, 1pm
Emirates Old Trafford
Jos Buttler has spoken of a rebuild phase for England’s white-ball team after a run of five defeats in their last seven one-day and T20 internationals against India and South Africa.
The retirements of Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes have added to that feeling: “It certainly feels like a bit of a changing of the times for us,” Buttler said after Tuesday’s 50-over defeat to South Africa in Durham.
England’s form has been such a disappointment, especially for those of us who had plenty of faith in their ability and tipped them for success. Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked out.
After nailing the Vitality Blast by suggesting Birmingham would win the North Group and Hampshire would win the title, I’ve got this run of white ball games wrong in terms of results.
So, in order to find some value, I’m going to steer clear of winners and losers for now and look elsewhere.
Malan to go again after Riverside runs
The Met Office are suggesting rain throughout various stages of Friday, so this may be the day to avoid total runs in the match bets or centuries to be scored.
In the opening ODI, I suggested SA opener Janneman Malan for their top run-scorer via a price boost. Unfortunately, he posted a half-century and still lost.
But he is a player I do like, so I’m happy to take the 7/4 bet365 are offering on him to score a half-century in game number two. He has posted three hundreds and four fifties in 17 ODI innings.
Riverside runs for Bairstow provide good signs
It was a similar situation with Jonny Bairstow as it was with Janneman Malan.
We lost out on his top-scorer bet despite him scoring a half-century in ODI number one.
But Bairstow remains appealing to be England’s top run-scorer in Manchester, the rambunctious opener subject of a Betfair price boost from 11/4 to 10/3.
After a quiet series against India, his 63 indicated good times may be ahead for the Yorkshireman.
Magic man Shamsi could be the play for Proteas top bowler
Emirates Old Trafford has long been useful for spinners, and I really rate South African left-arm wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi, who claimed two wickets in the opening game of this series.
The 32-year-old is three wickets away from a mini career milestone - 50 ODI wickets.
He is 10/3 with Betfair to be South Africa’s top bowler in Manchester.
In his last 10 ODI spells, dating back to last July, he has taken 19 wickets, including a five-wicket haul, a three-for and a series of two-fors. So there is definite form there.
* Odds correct at the time of writing but subject to change.