England have not enjoyed their most positive week in cricket history and Hashim Amla can make things that little bit worse by ensuring that South Africa cannot lose their one-day series.
Amla has already been the scourge of England once this summer at The Oval, scoring 311 not out at the ground in the Test series.
He continued to be the sharpest thorn in England’s side in the last one-day encounter when helping himself to 150 in South Africa’s 80-run success.
With the first one-day fixture ending in a no result because of the rain, a victory for South Africa here will put them 2-0 up with only two games remaining – at Lord’s and then Trent Bridge.
It is 11/10 that England level the series, but the clash comes at the end of a difficult week and there are reasons to believe the camp are in some disarray.
The Kevin Pietersen saga has barely settled down, while Andrew Strauss has not only stepped down as Test captain but retired entirely from cricket.
Throw in that Graeme Swann will miss the remainder of the series to rest his injured elbow, meaning he joins Stuart Broad among the absent bowlers, and England are looking a little light.
A settled South Africa, who may also be able to welcome back Dale Steyn, seemingly must be backed at 8/11 to move into a 2-0 series lead.
Meanwhile, given Amla’s knock in the last ODI at the Rose Bowl and impact in the Test series at The Oval, 11/4 is a fair price that he is South Africa’s top runscorer again.
Steven Finn finally dismissed Amla at the Rose Bowl and also got him out in both innings in the final Test at Lord’s.
With Broad and Swann missing, Finn also looks a good price at 3/1 to be England’s leading wicket taker in the third ODI.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.