Sam Turner previews the first T20 between South Africa and England on Friday.
The hosts need to rediscover their mojo after a crushing ODI Series defeat where they displayed ill-discipline in the field and ill-judgement with the bat to throw away a 2-0 lead.
However, the vim and vigour characterised by their initial performances looked to have returned in the warm-up game against South Africa A this week where Alex Hales continued his fine recent run with 72, his sixth successive fifty-plus score, and, perhaps more importantly, Eoin Morgan found some form with a crushing 42 from just 13 deliveries, five of which went for maximums.
The captain’s input was and is vital for England who appeal as enticing second favourites tomorrow given they are looking to extend a winning sequence which stands at six and whose victims include India, New Zealand and Australia. Their last series win, a non inconsequential 3-0 defeat of Pakistan in the UAE, meant they have now successfully defended on their last six outings which appears to place even more emphasis on an already vital toss.
Chasing at Newlands under the floodlights is traditionally a tough gig with seven sides batting first and winning in the last 11 day-night affairs. There is also the prospect of forecast showers to make analysis just that little bit tougher while England’s state of mind following a long tour is another aspect to consider when betting in the match winner markets.
With Morgan finding the rope again, or should I say the crowd, he could be a spot of value to top England’s run charts, while the destructive Quinton De Kock looked majestic in most of the ODI’s and is a dangerous beast at the top of the hosts’ order. England have yet to find a weakness in his game and he could be ready to plunder their attack again.