New Zealand chase historic series win
Kimberley, Jan 21: Saturday’s victory over South Africa would have brought plenty of relief but the pressure will be on New Zealand to hold their nerve once more in the remaining two ODIs. New Zealand have never won an ODI series in South Africa, and if Brendon McCullum’s team can get it right on Tuesday at the De Beers Diamond Oval in Kimberley, it will be a memorable way to round off what has been a difficult tour.
New Zealand have only won three of 19 ODIs in South Africa against the hosts, and following the hammering they received in the Tests, a series win could be seen as a big step forward. New Zealand’s batsmen are often criticised for their impatience, and it is this trait that will be tested in the rest of the series. A chase of 209 turned into a mess after New Zealand lost their openers in ten deliveries on Saturday, and it needed a patient and simple approach from James Franklin to steer them to a one-wicket win.
Another such batting effort would not leave New Zealand much room to breathe. As Franklin put it after his Man-of-the-Match performance, the team is under no illusions. “We have to be almost at our best, if not our best, to compete with these guys. Particularly over here in South Africa, we don’t have a great track record here in one-day cricket, now we have got a real chance of maybe winning a one-day series.”
New Zealand’s top order was particularly shaky, and from 4 for 2 it was BJ Watling who held the batting together wi th 45 off 78 balls. It is this approach which New Zealand could do with from the first ball. So Martin Guptill, whose two-ball duck extended his poor run on tour since he stroked a superb century in the first Twenty20 on December 23, and Rob Nicol will be under plenty of pressure. The rest of the team should stay the same. After his superb debut 4 for 20 that helped bowl South Africa out for 208, expectations will soar from New Zealand’s latest fast-bowling prospect, Mitchell McClanaghan.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 21 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 21 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 22 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST
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