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South Africa favourites over Aussies in ODI series opener

Wed, Sep 28, 2:53pm by Jake Equid

Preview: First ODI, South Africa v Australia

Date and Time: Friday, September 30, 9:30 pm AEST

Venue: Supersport Park, Centurion, South Africa

TV: Fox Sports

After nearly a three-week break, following the tour of Sri Lanka, the Aussies find themselves in the much more familiar surroundings of South Africa. The pitch conditions here are traditionally the closest to a home deck that they come across overseas. The news of an elbow-injury to South African captain, AB de Villiers has turned the one-day series on its head, even before it begins.

Despite this, the hosts head into the opening game of the five match series on Friday as favourites with Sportsbet at $1.81 with Australia at $2.

The injury requires surgery and will likely rule the world’s number one ODI batsmen out of not only this series but also the upcoming tour of Australia that is scheduled to commence at the end of next month. So the burning question is, can the Proteas win without him?

Their batting line-up remains powerful, featuring the world’s No.3 ranked batsman (Hashim Amla), as well as No.9 (Quinton de Kock) and No.11 (Faf du Plessis).

There is also, the strong home ground advantage to take into account. The South Africans have a formidable record in their own backyard, winning their past five ODI series, their last loss coming in 2013/14 against Pakistan.

Plus, the Aussie pace attack are severely weakened by the absence of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, both of whom are being rested for the upcoming home series in Australia.

It’s easy to see why the South Africans will remain confident of claiming a series win in the coming weeks.

The World Champions dismantled Ireland easily with a nine-wicket win on Wednesday in a one-off ODI which served as nothing more than a warm-up game. Adam Zampa got three wickets, while Usman Khawaja top scored with 82. Steve Smith made an unbeaten 59 and David warner smashed 48 off 30 balls.

South Africa also played a one-off match against the Irish a few days earlier, resulting in a predictable 206-run win.

BEST BET: South Africa to win $1.81

Sportsbet Full Market:

Head to Head

South Africa $1.81

Australia $2

Top Wicket Taker (South Africa)

Kagiso Rabada $3.75

Imran Tahir $4

Kyle Abbott $5

Tabraiz Shamsi $5

Wayne Parnell $5

Aaron Phangiso $6

Andile Phehlukwayo $6.50

Dwaine Pretorius $6

JP Duminy $7.50


Top Wicket Taker (Australia)

Adam Zampa $4

John Hastings $4.50

Chris Tremain $5.50

Daniel Worrall $5.50

Joe Mennie $5.50

Mitch Marsh $6.50

Scott Boland $6

Travis Head $11

Top Runscorer (South Africa)

Hashim Amla $4.33

Quinton de Kock $4

Francois du Plessis $5

JP Duminy $5.50

Rilee Rossouw $5.20

Temba Bavuma $6

David Miller $7

Farhaan Behardien $10

Dwaine Pretorius $17

Andile Phehlukwayo $26

Wayne Parnell $31

Aaron Phangiso $76

Kagiso Rabada $91

Imran Tahir $101

Kyle Abbott $101

Tabraiz Shamsi $101

Top Runscorer (Australia)

David Warner $3.75

Aaron Finch $4.50

Usman Khawaja $4.33

George Bailey $5.50

Steven Smith $5

Travis Head $7

Mitch Marsh $10

Matthew Wade $13

John Hastings $34

Joe Mennie $41

Adam Zampa $91

Chris Tremain $101

Daniel Worrall $101

Scott Boland $101

Series (TAB)

South Africa $1.70

Australia $2.15

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