South Africa vs New Zealand: Fourth ODI Preview

Batsman_Defends
South Africa will look to wrap up the series win against New Zealand when the sides meet in the early hours of Wednesday morning. 

With a 2-1 lead heading into the fourth ODI at Seddon Park this Wednesday, AB de Villiers and his boys will be looking to wrap up what has been an interesting series so far.

Can the visitors claim their third series in a row or will the Black Caps bring the series level in Hamilton? Let’s take a look:

South Africa vs New Zealand | Wednesday 1 March | Seddon Park, Hamilton | 03:00

To Win Match
South Africa 53/100 | Tie 35/1 | New Zealand 31/20

New Zealand
Following their crushing 159-run defeat in Wellington, it’s back to the drawing board for New Zealand’s batsmen. The hosts collapsed in an absolute heap losing all of their wickets for just 112 runs, with Colin de Grandhomme top scoring with a run-a-ball 34.

The returning Martin Guptill is likely to come straight back into the side for Tom Latham at the top of the order. Latham enduring a dire run of form at the moment which has seen him dismissed for three ducks in his last four innings.

I’d also expect to see Ish Sodhi return to the starting XI after Mike Hesson’s decision to replace the leg-spinner with Lockie Ferguson backfired as the Auckland seamer returned figures of 1-71 – the worst return for any bowler on the day.

Sodhi’s return will see him partner Mitchell Santner in the middle overs. It’s a good combination to have with Santner building pressure from one end while Sodhi and his variations attack batsmen at the other. One thing is for sure, though: something needs to change after the hammering in Wellington.

Looking ahead, you really can’t read too much into the Black Caps’ capitulation. They’re a far better side than that result suggests. Guptill’s return will also add a bit more impetus to the top order, laying the foundation for a much more competitive total.

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South Africa
The South Africans aren’t without their own problems heading into the fourth ODI. Hashim Amla has struggled for form on this tour with scores of 35, 10 and 7 in his three innings. While his dip hasn’t become so dire yet that selectors would consider dropping him – his performances against Sri Lanka proved as much.

While there is the slightest question marks over Amla’s head, his opening partner is quickly becoming one of the best top order players in world cricket. The little dynamo has now notched up five consecutive ODI fifties, equalling Jonty Rhodes’ South African record.

We can sing the praises of the batsmen all we want, however, it’s the bowlers who got the job done for the visitors. Kagiso Rabada was brilliant in his opening spell while Andile Phelukwayo and Dwaine Pretorius strangling the hosts in the middle overs in tricky batting conditions.

I’m not sure we’ll see any changes, although, Russel Domingo has rotated his seamers quite liberally. We could see the likes of Chris Morris and Dane Paterson come back in as the coaching staff look to settle on an attack leading up to the Champions Trophy.



Verdict: South Africa 53/100
The Proteas will be buzzing after their dismantling of the Black Caps on the weekend. In de Kock and AB de Villiers, they have two of world cricket’s most in-form batsmen. They’ve also got a wealth of seamers at their disposal – all of whom are in pretty good touch right now. Back the visitors to put in another good all-round performance wrapping up the series. 

Written by Jason Dewey for @Hollywoodbets.net

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