Mount Maunganui will host its second ODI in a few days when the Proteas and Kiwis do battle late on Thursday night (SA time).
After South Africa’s six wicket win in the first of two matches played at the Bay Oval, both sides will be looking to improve in the second encounter. South Africa let things slip with the ball after reducing New Zealand to 156-9 and then lost early wickets during the chase. The hosts looked a little rusty, after not playing an ODI for several months, and will be a lot better with a few overs in the legs.
AB de Villiers is still striving for a complete performance from his side, and Thursday night will provide the players with another opportunity to deliver. Apart from being off the pace in the first match, New Zealand are missing a few key players. Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor have been ruled out of the entire series with wrist and calf injuries, respectively.
The hosts are still a dangerous side, though, and if the likes of Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum can get the runs on the board, their miserly spinners will be able to apply real pressure. On the other side of the coin, the Proteas pace attack will be keen to take advantage of the friendly conditions as they prepare for the 2015 World Cup.
Players to watch:
In recent times, Quinton de Kock hasn’t had too many back-to-back failures. He scored nine in the first match and the smart money would be on him making up for that by showing the locals his considerable talents. For New Zealand, Corey Anderson got a golden duck in the first match. If his top order can lay a solid foundation then the big left-hander will be able to take advantage of the small dimensions of the ground and show why the Mumbai Indians paid so much money for his services.
It will definitely be a more even contest than the first match, but the Proteas have the momentum on their side and should wrap up the series.