Venue: Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein
Date: Sunday, January 229, 2023
This three-match ODI series forms part of the 2020-2023 ICC Cricket World Cup Super League, and they are make-up games from when England’s 2020 December tour of South Africa was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is the second match in a row to be played at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein – the third is at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley – and South Africa will be looking to repeat their success from the first match and clinch the series before the two sides move to the Northern Cape.
The hosts won the toss in the first game on Friday, electing to bat and slogging their way to 298/7 from their 50 overs. Rassie van der Dussen was the star with the bat as he hit 111 from 117 balls. The excellent Sam Curran took three wickets at the cost of 25 runs in his nine overs with the ball.
England began like the chase would be simple. Jason Roy – more on him below – struck a masterful 113 from 91 balls, partnering with Dawid Malan for a first-wicket stand that had England in a position to win. With both wickets in hand and the run rate on their side, it is hard to see how England collapsed to being all out for 271 from 44.2 overs. Anrich Nortje was exceptional as he took four wickets for 62 runs, but England had no business losing this as wicket after wicket fell softly, and South Africa’s confidence grew.
The win means South Africa’s ODI record over their last seven has moved to three wins and four defeats. I would expect the same XI to take to the pitch on Sunday, though if there is a change, it might be to rest a player with many recent miles on the body. Kagiso Rabada is one name that sticks out as ready for a breather.
Man of the Match Sisanda Magala destroyed England with his pace, and I would expect him to have another solid outing here.
England will think they can win this after snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in the first ODI. Jofra Archer is back – though his return to the side was costly as he took just 1/81, the worst ODI figures of his career – but after nearly two years out injured, rust was to be expected.
The better news was the return to form of Roy, a player much maligned of late due to a severe dip in form. Roy’s innings was one set against the backdrop of his international career being on the line, and he passed the test as easily England’s most potent batting threat on the day.
England managed to lose a game chasing just shy of 300 when they are 146 without loss. If you trust them not to collapse for a second straight ODI, they are the pick at 7/10 to win. I also like Nortje to continue his bowling form at 22/10 to be South Africa’s best bowler, and I think Jos Buttler is worth a look at 15/4 to be the top English batsman on the day.