Newlands, Cape Town - 19th February 2016
- After losing the final three 50-over games to concede the series from a 2-0 lead, England will be hoping to put in a much improved performance in the two T20 games. This is a format which suits England more than 50 overs, but South Africa are also a strong T20 side, and these two games should provide some excellent entertainment.
- Looking at the T20 Ground Stats for Newlands, sides scoring over 160 runs batting first have won 85% of the time, and so with two gun batting units on display, the side batting first should have an advantage here.
- England start as underdogs here, best priced at 2.1 on the high street, and trading early at 2.2 on the Betfair Exchange. As they showed in the 3-0 whitewash against Pakistan in November, England are quietly becoming an excellent T20 side, and will be confident going into this series on the back of a 44-run win in the one warm up game. If you're looking to trade this, siding with England at odds-against pre-off should be a good start, as I'm fairly sure they'll trade odds-on here, especially if they bat first. One thing to note is how the market tends to overrate South Africa. In all the ODIs there were several occasions where England looked far too big. With T20 being their stronger format, taking advantage of this here could pay off handsomely.
- Alex Hales had an incredible ODI series, scoring 50s in every game, and has carried this form into the T20 series, scoring a 52-ball 78 in Wednesday's warm up T20 game. The 22.5 line here looks a touch low, and as he's been scoring runs for fun, it's well worth backing him to cover this. If you're feeling confident, he can be backed at 3.75 to score a 50. Alternatively, buying his runs on the spreads could be a good play. You can find out more about this in my post on spread betting.
- Adil Rashid is developing into England's most reliable white ball bowler, taking 2/27 in the warm up T20, and the 5.5 available with Ladbrokes on him to be top wicket taker looks value in what is a weak field. The other contender here is Reece Topley, who can be backed at 4.5 with a number of books currently. Dutching these two gives a 2.47 shot, and this looks the more favourable play, or alternatively a nice hedge to the Rashid back.
Back Alex Hales to score over 22.5 runs at 1.83 with Ladbrokes
Dutch Reece Topley and Adil Rashid to be England's top bowler at 2.47