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The Preview by Kanishkaa Balachandran
February 13, 2012
Match factsFebruary 14, 2012
Zimbabwe's batsmen put up their best performance of the tour during the first Twenty20, at Eden Park. They may not have done full justice to the batting surface, putting up a par score of 159, but they showed some signs of improvement, at least in terms of staging partnerships. Unfortunately, the bowlers failed to back them up, despite getting two early wickets. They have one last chance to rectify their errors and possibly catch New Zealand off guard.
In the spotlightNot many players get to play in cities they share a name with. Hamilton Masakadza will play his first international match at Hamilton's Seddon Park. Having flopped in the Test and ODIs, he found some form in Auckland, where he top scored for Zimbabwe with 53. He also became the first Zimbabwe opener to breach double figures in the series. He will need to bring his experience into play one more time.
With a run-up and action similar to Daniel Vettori's, Roneel Hira impressed in Auckland with his 1 for 22 in four overs. He could have had another wicket had Brendon McCullum not fluffed a stumping chance against Masakadza. He was the joint-leading wicket-taker in the 2011-12 HRV Cup Twenty20 with 14 wickets, and his performance will only increase the competition for the spinner's slot, with fellow newcomer Tarun Nethula also in the mix.
New Zealand: (probable) 1 Rob Nicol, 2 Brendon McCullum, 3 Colin de Grandhomme, 4 Kane Williamson, 5 James Franklin, 6 Nathan McCullum, 7 Kyle Mills, 8 Doug Bracewell, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Roneel Hira, 11 Michael Bates
Zimbabwe could retain their XI from the previous game.
Zimbabwe: (probable) 1 Brendan Taylor, 2 Hamilton Masakadza, 3 Forster Mutizwa, 4 Tatenda Taibu, 5 Malcolm Waller, 6 Elton Chigumbura, 7 Shingi Masakadza, 8 Keegan Meth 9 Prosper Utseya, 10 Ray Price, 11 Kyle Jarvis
Stats and trivia
Quotes"We need to win again and we need to win well, in the fashion we've been winning so far in the series, with that emphatic nature and making sure that we don't reduce our standard in that final game."
Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Kanishkaa Balachandran
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