New Zealand will look to improve on their T20 thumping when the sides go head to head in the first ODI on Sunday.
South Africa dispatched the Black Caps with consummate ease in the one-off T20 on Friday morning and will be keen for more of the same when the sides clash in the first ODI in Hamilton on Sunday.
Can Kane Williamson and his boys bounce back or will the South Africans make it 12 ODI wins on the trot? Let’s take a look!
South Africa vs New Zealand | Sunday 19 February | Seddon Park, Hamilton | 03:00
To Win Match
New Zealand 27/20 | Tie 35/1 | South Africa 62/100
It’s back to the drawing board for Mike Hesson and their charges as they were comprehensively stomped in the only T20. Interestingly enough, the hosts opted to open their innings with young Glenn Phillips.
The 20-year-old has only ever played 12 List A games and a further 11 professional franchise T20 matches. It’s not often you see such an inexperienced player deep-ended in such fashion. Although it’s pointless dwelling on that now as he is not part of the ODI squad.
Worryingly for New Zealand, their four most senior batsman in Williamson, Colin Munro, Corey Anderson and Luke Ronchi all failed miserably with the bat as the inexperienced Tom Bruce and Tim Southee were the only players to break the 20-run mark.
They’ll need a massive improvement going into the first ODI, something I expect we’ll see at Seddon Park come Sunday. They’re too good a unit to be brushed away in the same manner as the Australian second-stringers and the Sri Lankans – both of whom suffered 5-0 whitewashes at the hands of the Proteas.
The Proteas would have treated the one-off ODI as a sort of practice match heading into the five-match ODI series. And while the visitors won the match convincingly – by 82 runs – they would have been kicking themselves at the end of their innings after finishing on 185.
The visitors had found themselves at 102-2 after 11 overs and would have been looking to double their score at the bare minimum. As it turns out, it never really made a difference as the New Zealanders’ chase never really got going. This is definitely something the side will work on heading into the ODIs.
Hashim Amla got some much-needed runs in the T20 as he picked up 62 from just 43-balls. Other than that, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers, and JP Duminy all got decent starts to put the Proteas in good headspace going into Hamilton.
The bowling unit was impressed me most, however, as Chris Morris and Dane Paterson were economical up front, piling the pressure on the home side’s top order before Andile Phelukwayo and Imran Tahir wrapped things up in the latter innings.
So good was the bowling performance in fact, that both Morris and Tahir found themselves on hat-tricks at different points in the innings. The latter picked up his first ever T20 International five-for as his hot streak continues.
Verdict: South Africa 62/100
The South Africans are on top of their game at the moment and are definitely favourites going into this match. They’d have taken a great deal of heart from their thumping win in the one-off T20 and are tipped to repeat the trick on Sunday.