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Rupert Wyman 2nd Dec 2009 - 14:19

ODI series decider in Durban

The fifth and final one-day international takes place on Friday in Durban. England lead the series 2-1 following their seven-wicket win over South Africa in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.

The series has been one that has swung back and forth as both sides' performances have gone from the sublime to the ridiculous. This trait started in the two-game Twenty20 series when England won the first match in Johannesburg by one run before South Africa won by 84 runs two days later to level the series.

Then, after the first ODI which was washed out, England struck back in the second ODI with a seven-wicket victory, before South Africa levelled the series at 1-1 with a 112-run success in the third match, before England's latest aforementioned win allowed them to regain their series advantage.

On England's tour the hosts have struck back twice following a defeat so far and they are chalked up at 4/7 to make it three times.

This looks a much better price than the 11/8 about a third England win as the Proteas have the better players and if they perform then they will undoubtedly win to level the series.

Once again Dale Steyn is set to be missing for South Africa as Mickey Arthur wants to ensure that his pace bowler is fit and ready for the first Test which begins on 16 December in Centurion.

It was not the bowling attack that was primarily at fault though in the fourth one-dayer as they were only given a paltry 119 runs to protect.

Captain Graeme Smith admitted afterwards that his young line-up had not adapted well to the conditions as James Anderson destroyed their innings with career-best figures of five wickets for 23. Anderson's bowling was truly devastating, especially as he was playing with a likely broken toe as well as his on-going fitness concerns surrounding his knee.

Anderson is the 2/1 favourite to take the most wickets once again for England, but with his fitness issues the value has to lie with 7/1 outsider Paul Collingwood. The Durham all-rounder took two for 20 in the last match.

South African-born Jonathan Trott top scored in Port Elizabeth with 52 not out and he is joint second favourite (with captain Andrew Strauss) at 7/2 to score the most runs in Durban.

Yet again Strauss got a start before getting out (this time on 32) so he is due a big score and I would prefer to be on him than his opening partner. For South Africa their third ODI hero AB de Villiers is the preference at 10/3.

South Africa, without Jacques Kallis, had an evident lack of balance in their line-up in the fourth ODI as the top order collapsed, but if the top order hold firm in the fifth match then the hosts should be able to bounce back yet again and level the series.



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