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Pakistan v South Africa betting odds: Champions Trophy 2013

Pakistan will look to overcome South Africa in tonight's Champions Trophy 2013 game. (credit: rushdi13)
BetFair's Matt Harris correctly predicted defeat for Pakistan in the opening game of the Champions Trophy but he expects Misbah-ul-Haq's side to bounce back and claim the points against South Africa.

Pakistan

The frustrating nature of Pakistan's play was evident against the West Indies on Friday as only two batsmen passed double figures in a sub-par total of 170. The early damage could be put down to high quality bowling from Kemar Roach but many of the middle order surrendered their wickets with injudicious shots.

Nasir Jamshed with 50 and captain Misbah with an undefeated 96 were the only batters to emerge with any credit but Pakistan should learn from that performance and put in a better display against the South Africans. Meanwhile, there are few concerns in the bowling department after Mohammad Irfan and Saeed Ajmal made the Windies fight hard to overcome that poor total and those two men should be pivotal if their side are to claim their first points of the competition.

South Africa

AB De Villiers' men face the prospect of going into this match without their two pace bowling spearheads Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn. Morkel is already out of the tournament after picking up a quad strain while the report on Steyn gave no clear indication as to whether he would make the starting XI.

"Dale is a work in progress as far as recovery is concerned. We can only get him to start bowling once he is symptom-free," said Team Doctor Mohammed Moosajee.

Chris Morris, who impressed with Chennai in the recent IPL series, has been called up as Morkel's replacement but the bowling attack looks weak and if Steyn doesn't feature, Pakistan should take full advantage.

Left arm spinner Aaron Phangiso could be brought into the side to add some variety but it's unlikely that the batting line up will change after passing 300 in a losing cause against India.

Venue and Conditions

England were criticised for slow play in building a first innings total of 269 against Australia at this Edgbaston ground but runs on the board proved to be crucial as George Bailey's side fell short. In technical terms however, that surface was a 'flat belter' and the side taking first knock on Monday should be aiming to set a minimum target of 300.

The weather is expected to stay dry for the first Day / Nighter of this tournament with cloud cover increasing and aiding the seamers throughout the day.

Match Odds

South Africa head the market at 1.74 but Pakistan are serious value at 2.3 for the win. Batting looks strong for the Proteas, but the injured pair of Kallis and Smith have been easier to replace than Steyn and Morkel with the ball.

Key to the contest is Pakistan and if their batsmen find form and discipline they will take full advantage of their opponents' depleted attack.

Top Pakistan Batsman @ BetFair

Misbah's brilliant knock of 96 last time out makes the skipper a logical choice for most at around 4.0 while you could also take Nasir Jamshed at 4.0 or possibly better.

23 year old Jamshed is a huge talent and recently scored back to back ODI centuries in the series with India. Hopefully he will have learned a vital lesson after throwing away his wicket as soon as he reached 50 on Friday and I expect a big innings against South Africa.

Top South African Batsman @ BetFair

Run Machine Hashim Amla is favourite here at around the 3.75 mark despite making just 22 in a big South African total against the Indians. Alternatives include De Villiers at 4.0 or better while a strong outside bet is David Miller who has maintained some form after a breakthrough IPL and can be found at around 7.0.

However, it's worth recalling Amla's tour of England in 2012 where he top scored virtually every time he walked to the crease. He is strong in any format and is my pick here.

Recommended Bet @ BetFair
Back Pakistan to win at 2.3
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Pakistan v South Africa betting odds: Champions Trophy 2013

BetFair's Matt Harris correctly predicted defeat for Pakistan in the opening game of the Champions Trophy but he expects Misbah-ul-Haq's side to bounce back and claim the points against South Africa.

Read more »