Start time: 1030, 30/05/2019
Venue: The Oval
TV: Sky Sports
England will be looking to justify their status as pre-tournament favourites when facing South Africa in Thursday’s ICC Cricket World Cup curtain raiser.
The hosts should be in fine spirits, coming off a 4-0 series win over Pakistan and an emphatic warm-up victory against Afghanistan at this venue on Monday.
This is a tough opening test, but 11/25 for the Three Lions to prevail is still our first England vs South Africa prediction.
A Look At England’s Betting Odds
England enjoyed a nice boost on and off the field earlier this week, bowling Afghanistan out for 160 and then knocking off the runs in less than 18 overs, while paceman Mark Wood was passed fit over his troublesome left ankle.
Captain Eoin Morgan, who has also recovered from a dislocated finger, stated: “As a whole, I was very happy with the preparation.
“When you play as convincingly as that, it builds confidence in the hard work you’ve done both in training and in the game.
“Everyone is going to feel that anticipation and excitement of playing the first game and it will be different than any other day, but I will be encouraging guys to embrace it.”
Jason Roy’s bruising 89 not out against Afghanistan continued his good run of form, with the opener having hit 114 versus Pakistan at Trent Bridge recently.
Looking at the England vs South Africa odds, he appeals at 7/2 to be the hosts’ top batsman in this match.
A Look At South Africa’s Betting Odds
South Africa always command respect and 16 wins in 21 games over the past 12 months has helped to cement third place in the ODI rankings.
The opposition has been moderate at times, with 11 of those victories coming against Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka, but narrow series wins over Australia and Pakistan make good reading.
Skipper Faf du Plessis and wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock are both ranked in the world’s top five ODI batsmen, while the recalled Hashim Amla is closing in on 8,000 runs in this format.
Du Plessis hit 88 in a Cardiff warm-up win over Sri Lanka, so 7/2 for him to be the Proteas’ top scorer is added to our England vs South Africa betting tips.
Amla and De Kock, meanwhile, put on an unbeaten 95 against the West Indies before rain ruined that Bristol clash, so England must beware such dangerous foes.
However, there are question marks over South Africa’s bowling line-up, with Anrich Nortje and Dale Steyn sidelined here and Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi cutting short IPL stints due to injury.
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