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England V South Africa First Test Cricket Betting Tips

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A True Great of the game - Mark Boucher.

Conditions will favour England Seamers.

Rain, rain, go away and don't come back until September 13th!

There are some fantastic sporting events on the agenda during July and August and none more lip smacking, droolingly enticing than the test series between England and South Africa.

Beginning on July 19th England play a series of matches against the number one side in the world South Africa starting at the oval with the first test match.

 

A True Great of the game - Mark Boucher.

Conditions will favour England Seamers.

Rain, rain, go away and don't come back until September 13th!

There are some fantastic sporting events on the agenda during July and August and none more lip smacking, droolingly enticing than the test series between England and South Africa.

Beginning on July 19th England play a series of matches against the number one side in the world South Africa starting at the oval with the first test match.

The schedule is for three test matches then five one day internationals and finishing with three 20/20 games before England have the much easier to call 20/20 world cup game against Afghanistan on the 21st September.

England then follow that with a tour of India in November, December and January before heading off to New Zealand in February and March.

April is a rest month, before New Zealand play a return series in May and June and then a summer of cricket starts in July and August against the auld enemy Australia and a five match test series completes the annual cycle.

Now, I don't know about you but I think Kevin Pietersen is well within his rights to ask to be excluded from the one day international scene – playing cricket these days is much more akin to being in the Army in terms of time spent away from home and I blame the MCC for not being more flexible.

Basically they are saying if you don't play the ODI's you can't participate in the 20/20 game and as usual it's bigwigs who go home every night to their wives and red wine making the decisions.

Pietersen is a big loss to the crowd gate – I'd pay money just to watch him play on his own and the administrators should take that into consideration when they try to cram so many games into the schedule.

I see Brett Lee has decided to retire today – the demands of modern cricket are just insatiable. Good luck Mr Lee. He retires one short of the record 381 wickets taken by McGrath which will be an endless source of amusement when the tinnies come out I'm sure.

Anyway back to South Africa.

First of all we must offer our heartfelt good wishes to Mark Boucher the South African wicketkeeper who was blinded in one eye in a one in a million accident last week in a warm up game.

The bails came off and freakishly managed to blind him in the left eye leaving him no option but to retire from the game. For some reason he had decided not wear a helmet that day when keeping wicket like he normally did and it bit him in the ass.

Our thoughts are with you and your family at this time.

Boucher played 147 Tests and currently holds the world record for most dismissals by a wicketkeeper with 555. He also claimed 425 dismissals in one day internationals. Some record.

Boucher was the best wicketkeeper in the world before this tragedy struck and it has hit the South African's hard. Beware the wounded tiger.

South Africa have called up their reserve keeper but A.B De Villiers is well capable of doing the job and I fully expect him to take up the challenge. In fact in some ways it strengthens the South African team because they can bring in an extra batsman at four or five.

In Dale Steyn South Africa have the number one ranked bowler in the world and Mornie Morkel along with Jaques Kallis provides a formidable attack but I don't think it matches England.

Andersen, Bresnan, Finn and Broad are going to be thriving in the seaming conditions and I think they will win the bowling battle.

On top of that Cook and Trott are in fine form with Bell excelling and Bopara is likely to be recalled at number six to add steel to what was in the past a soft underbelly.

I can't see England losing but then again I can't see South Africa rolling over – and certainly they will play at a much higher level than Australia managed in the ODI series.

If it was hot weather with hard pitches then I would be betting on South Africa but as the conditions favour the English seamers:

Take the 6/5 on offer at Ladbrokes for an England win.

On second thoughts

With two evenly matched sides and the weather bound to cost several days play:

Get your bet on a drawn series at Stan James 10/3 a £5 bet returns £21.67

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