South Africa have started their tour of New Zealand in the same way they’ve played their last 12 ODI games – by winning. After beating Australia 5-0 and then Sri Lanka 5-0 (both at home), the South Africans have showcased their self-belief, a trait AB de Villiers has said is at the highest level he has seen in his 13 years around the squad, by beating the Black Caps in both the one-off T20 game the ODI opener.
The series now heads to Christchurch on Wednesday, we preview the action below:
The ODI series opener in Hamilton was a rain-shortened affair that ended with the same result as the Twenty20 game just two days earlier. However, the manner of the South African victory was a lot different.
In a game that went right down to the wire, South Africa snuck a win by three wickets after successfully chasing 208 in 34 overs. AB de Villiers guided the chase home, scoring a composed 37 not out from 32 balls, but was terrifically supported by Andile Phehlukwayo (29 off 23).
In truth, South Africa bossed the game for a lot of it. They had NZ in trouble early at 108-5 before Tim Southee and Colin de Grandhomme added an unbeaten 51 (from about four overs) to drag the Black Caps to 207. South Africa looked in total control at 88-0, but lost clusters of wickets to the slow bowlers and fast bowlers imitating slow bowlers, to the point where they required 22 off the final two overs.
South Africa (from)
AB de Villiers (capt), Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock (wk), JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Dane Paterson, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi.
South Africa have a few choices to make. Farhaan Behardien is woefully out of form and could be replaced by David Miller. Tabraiz Shamsi might also miss out with Wayne Parnell and Dane Paterson the options to replace him.
New Zealand (from)
Kane Williamson (capt), Trent Boult, Neil Broom, Lockie Ferguson, Colin de Grandhomme, Dean Brownlie, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Ross Taylor.
The only change NZ may consider is using Lockie Ferguson rather than Ish Sodhi on the quicker surface, unless they’re brave enough to drop the underperforming Tim Southee too.
Kagiso Rabada is one of the premium up and coming quicks on the international circuit. Although, it might be unkind to call him up and coming considering he’s already announced himself with big performances against England (13-144), Australia (5-92) and Sri Lanka (10-92) over the past two seasons. Rabada can bowl quickly for long spells with devastating accuracy, a combination that is deadly in the test game, but equally useful in the ODI game – as his debut figures (the best of any debutant) of 6-16, including a hat-trick, against Bangladesh attest to. We’re predicting Rabada to have a big impact here in game two.
Tom Latham could be about to become New Zealand’s number one wicketkeeper in the one day game given that the selectors are stuck between not liking the form or incumbent, Luke Ronchi, and not trusting the ability of newcomer, Tom Blundell. Ronchi’s 35 and horribly out of form. It’s understandable if they part ways with him. But will Hesson go for Latham, an established batsman in the test and one-day game or Blundell, a very accomplished player in his own right. It seems they’re leaning towards Latham for the balance he offers the side, but he must contribute more with the bat than the zero he made in Hamilton.
South Africa – $1.32
New Zealand – $2.60
*All odds from Sportsbet.
South Africa are now unbeaten in their last 12 ODIs. It’s an unbelievable record that will be very tricky for the Black Caps to break. Despite the drama of Hamilton, we’re picking South Africa to shade game 2 as well. South Africa by five wickets or 40 runs.
Kane Williamson looked a class above his compatriots on the tacky Hamilton surface that de Villiers described as one of the toughest he’s played on. He’ll be a good chance at top scoring at $3.75, but also consider Dean Brownlie, Martin Guptill’s replacement who plays brilliantly off the back foot and will benefit from the added bounce at Hagley.
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