England To Defeat SA To Claim Series Win

England can secure their first Test series win in over a year by defeating South Africa at Old Trafford.

The Three Lions put in a splendid performance to beat the Proteas by 239 runs at The Oval, regaining their lead in the series.

Ben Stokes scored a century in England’s first innings to lay a strong foundation for the victory, supported by a fine innings of 88 by Alastair Cook in trying conditions.

Debutant Toby Roland-Jones carved through South Africa’s batting line-up, helping reduce the tourists to 61-7 in their reply before Temba Bavuma brought respectability to the innings.

Joe Root’s men set the Proteas a record chase of 492, which was never on the cards, despite a defiant hundred from Dean Elgar.

Moeen Ali secured the win for the Three Lions by claiming the first hat-trick by an England spinner since 1938, snatching the final wicket catching Morne Morkel lbw plum in front of his stumps.

The Three Lions have not beaten South Africa in a home series since 1998, while they’ve failed to record a win in their last three series, drawing against Pakistan and Bangladesh before being hammered in India over the winter.

Root will be determined to get off to a winning start as captain to set his side up for the rest of the year against the West Indies and their trip Down Under to defend the Ashes. Therefore it’s an extremely important contest for the home side to seal the deal.

England’s Top Batsman

Cook could thrive at Old Trafford

Although Cook narrowly missed out on the 31st Test century of his career, his runs were a vital part of the victory. The 32-year-old played a stoic role at the top of the order, holding the team together amid quality bowling from the Proteas that had reduced England to 120-4.

However, his display along with Stokes manoeuvred the Three Lions into a winning position. Cook’s form has been up and down thus far this series, although he has notched two fifties. The problems around him have not made life easy for the former skipper as he attempts to bed down in the ranks.

Keaton Jennings and Gary Ballance’s problems appeared to have an effect on Cook, while the quality of Vernon Philander and Morkel with the new ball has been troublesome. The latter especially has given the opener issues, dismissing more times than any other bowler in the game.

Cook’s resilience has allowed him to make decent scores even without being at his best. He displayed flashes of the player that has ground down opposition in the past and could be on course of a big score at Old Trafford. Therefore backing the former captain at odds of +350   with SkyBet is the option to take.

Jennings needs a score to save his career in an England shirt for the near future. He found a semblance of knick in the second innings at The Oval, scoring 48. The 25-year-old will need to raise the level of his game to remain for the rest of the summer and could challenge Cook to top score out of sheer desperation.

South Africa’s Top Batsman

By his high standards Quinton de Kock has had an underwhelming series thus far. Much like Cook his quality allows him to score runs even when he’s not at the peak of his powers, scoring two half-centuries in the series.

However, the 24-year-old has not been able to rack up the big runs his side have needed from him even when he has been elevated to number four in the order.

De Kock will have been extremely frustrated by his efforts at The Oval as he made 17 in the first innings before being removed by Roland-Jones. His loose strokeplay allowed Stokes to claim the catch in the gully, while the all-rounder produced a beauty to bowl the wicket-keeper in the second.

Without the presence of AB de Villiers, the brunt of the run-scoring responsibility was bound to fall on the shoulders of De Kock and Hashim Amla. Both men have had their moments, but not nearly enough to swing the balance of the series in the Proteas’ favour.

To join the truly elite players in the world such as Root, Steve Smith and Kane Williamson, De Kock needs to take charge of his next knock to level the series. Backing him at +600   with Betway is great value as he is due a high score.

England’s Top Bowler

Broad has been quiet thus far

Stuart Broad has had a quiet series, although he has not bowled badly. The 31-year-old only has seven wickets to his name, but fortune has not been on his side throughout.

The Nottinghamshire man did have fitness issues coming into the series, which appears to have affected the pace of his bowling.

Broad is still a formidable opponent without reaching the high 80s due to his ability to swing the ball, although it has taken away some of his potency.

England will be desperate for him to find his form for the rest of the summer and an important winter Down Under. During his career he has been renowned for devastating spells that have come out of nowhere and he did produce a fine delivery in the last match to dismiss Heino Kuhn.

The 31-year-old has the quality to explode into life at any moment, therefore backing him at +350   with Betfair is a solid bet.

Winner

At the start of the series, SBO backed England to triumph by a 3-1 margin. As a result, the Three Lions are on course to vindicate the backing given to them.

However, since Trevor Bayliss took charge in 2015, England have had problems immediately after recording victories. The point was highlighted already in the series when they followed their dominant outing at Lord’s with a feeble performance at Trent Bridge.

Root will be determined to eradicate that trend to begin his captaincy with a series victory. The changes made by the Three Lions in the last match were successful as Tom Westley fared well and Roland-Jones tore apart the South African batting line-up.

England appear to have the balance of their side sorted, with Ali entering the fray at number eight, while Bairstow seemed at ease at seven.

The Proteas have had problems with the bat, while fitness concerns have plagued Philander throughout, including at The Oval when he was forced into hospital.

If the pace bowler is not able to operate somewhere near his best for Faf du Plessis’ men then England should be able to secure the win. Should the 32-year-old fire for his team then it could be enough to salvage a draw for the tourists.

However, given the uncertainty over Philander’s issues, backing England at +110   with Bet365 is the punt to take on.

Tips Summary

England To Beat South Africa In 4th Test
Friday 4th August – Tuesday 8th August 2017
Odds: +110

Alastair Cook To Be England’s Top Batsman
Friday 4th August – Tuesday 8th August 2017
Odds: +350

Quinton de Kock To Be South Africa’s Top Batsman
Friday 4th August – Tuesday 8th August 2017
Odds: +600

Stuart Broad To Be England’s Top Bowler
Friday 4th August – Tuesday 8th August 2017
Odds: +350

Share this article: