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It was a one sided affair in Bloemfontein in the first ODI of this series. Now, on 15th of this month, men in green face off in what may be one of the most important fixtures in this series. Pakistan lost the first game by a whopping margin of over 100 runs, and this game can be considered their only genuine chance to bounce back in the series. South Africa was strong in the first game throughout after posting a mammoth total of over 300 runs and then bowling Pakistan out cheaply. It is expected to be a cracker of a match with a different and friendlier wicket for spin.
Pakistan would be disappointed to have failed in all departments of the game. Firstly they bowled poorly and then failed miserably with the bat. The spin duo of Hafeez and Ajmal managed to stop the run flow, but was not enough to pose any threat to potent South African lineup. Their fast bowlers were unable to pick up the wickets early on, and then pressure turned back on them. Pakistan is an unpredictable side and definitely has the power to get back into the series and it would be interesting to see how they face the challenge in the coming ODI.
Although South Africa managed to win the first game quite comfortably, there were some negatives for them to ponder upon. Their batting was excellent, as everyone who came in smashed some runs. Their weak point is looking to be their opening bowlers as they were taken for cleaners early on by Nasir Jamshed and Mohammad Hafeez. It was the pair of Rory Kleinveldt and Ryan Mclaren who pulled things back in the favor of South Africa. Morne and Steyn are expected to be back in the second game which would definitely add to their strength.
Pakistan did seem to lack the experience and the skill required to beat South Africa and that too in their own backyard. If Pakistan does not make drastic changes to their mindset, it’s going to be a tough going for them. South Africa has the better side and they know the conditions better. I’d place my money on South Africa with many factors favoring them and expected comeback of Morne and Steyn.
Winner: South Africa, 1.50 @ Bet365
In swinging conditions, it is difficult to bat early on especially if you are not accustomed to bat on such tracks. The same is the case for Pakistan batsmen. I do not see Pakistan opening partnership scoring more runs than South Africa. I think this bet is mispriced and should be considered.
Best Opening Partnership: South Africa, 1.67 @ William Hill