Cricket – south africa v england third test preview

Cricket – South Africa v England Third Test Preview

After ten years of ups and downs – and some fascinating matches for Sporting Index’s spread punters to follow along the way – English cricket exited the noughties in rude health. With followers of the national team hoping for this to continue, the next decade begins with the Test against South Africa at Newlands, Cape Town. Located at the foot of Table Mountain it is one of the most beautiful grounds and spectacular settings in world cricket.

Buyers of England’s win index in the third Test of the four match series will be confident of Andrew Strauss’s men inflicting South Africa’s first defeat at the ground since March 2006. In the games following that loss to Australia, the home side have drawn one and won the next four fixtures. The same spread buyers will be looking for England to claim their first victory here in over 50 years.

Spread punters who have instead bought the home side’s win index for this one will know that since they were readmitted to the international cricket scene, they have beaten the Three Lions comprehensively here in all three encounters: in 1996 by 10 wickets, in 2000 by an innings and 37 runs and once more in 2005 by 196 runs.

Furthermore, these spread punters will know that their record in the same period at Newlands is very impressive. From 20 games South Africa have only recorded three defeats, all to Australia, and three draws, one each against India, West Indies and New Zealand.

The fact the pitch produces results more often than not also gives spread bettors something to consider when determining their strategies. It is also one that is conducive to run-scoring, with the top three totals of 651, 620/7d and 593/8d all recorded within the last seven years, and the best two by South Africa.

Spread bettors looking to the individual player markets will find the name of Jacques Kallis at the top of the all-time runs leaderboard. His total of 1448 will likely appeal to spread buyers of his runs on Sporting Index, having come in just 16 matches. An average of 65.81 from 25 innings includes three not-outs and a best knock of 149. Those Sporting Index spread punters who prefer the ton-ups market will be interested to know that the all-rounder has notched five of his 32 career centuries here.

South Africa skipper Graeme Smith is the second most successful run-gatherer at Newlands and will be hopeful of surpassing the 1000-run mark at some point during the game. Spread buyers of his runs will be aware that his 904 to date have come at an average of 53.17, but sellers of his ton-ups will recall just two hundreds from 17 innings.

Of the touring party, only Andrew Strauss played in the previous match between the sides at the ground exactly five years ago. His combined total of 84, with a 45 and 39 from the two innings, was his side’s highest as they slumped to a 196-run defeat. So spread punters buying Strauss as part of a matchmaker will feel that he can again score well.

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