Match facts

December 23, 2012
Start time 1800 (1600 GMT)

Big Picture

Being "aggressive" is easier said than done. New Zealand found out the hard way at Kingsmead on Friday. It was a risky approach from a side fielding four debutants. They wanted to make a statement with a positive approach with the bat, but by the end of nine overs, six were back in the pavilion. Brendon McCullum, the captain, admitted it was a flawed approach, and that New Zealand needed to respect the fundamentals first and earn the right to be aggressive. The cricket was of low quality, compounded by shambolic fielding. That South Africa won with 47 balls to spare only highlighted the gulf between the two sides. South Africa too went in with an experimental line-up with three debutants, but they weren't tested. With just 87 to chase, the South Africa captain-coach duo of Faf du Plessis and Russell Domingo couldn't have asked for an easier beginning to their new leadership roles.

McCullum said the pitch at Kingsmead was two-paced, with the odd ball keeping low. It needed some patience from the batsmen before launching their shots. The teams will hope for better batting conditions at East London. New Zealand have shown the resilience to bounce back after a horror defeat - most recently in the Test series in Sri Lanka - so South Africa should guard against complacency. From New Zealand's perspective, they would want to wipe the slate clean and treat this as the first game of a two-match series.

Form guide (Completed games, most recent first)

South Africa WLLLW
New Zealand LTLTL

In the spotlight

Doug Bracewell was among only three New Zealand batsmen to get into double figures on Friday, but in his primary role as a fast bowler, he had a poor outing, giving 21 off two overs before being taken off the attack. Bracewell was a familiar face in a largely unrecognisable attack, and he will need to rediscover his best.

Rory Kleinveldt didn't have the happiest tour of Australia, but back in familiar home conditions he was the best bowler at Kingsmead with figures of 3 for 18. He struck with his first ball, and then removed the dangerous McCullum with a short ball pulled to fine leg. He later spoke of using the bouncer as a dot ball or a wicket-taking option.

Team news

The South Africa allrounder Chris Morris limped off the field after aggravating a quad injury that has ruled him out of the two remaining games. It leaves the hosts with only 12 players to pick from, since no replacement has been named for Morris. South Africa had already decided to rotate their senior seamers in this short series, with Dale Steyn getting a break before the Tests. Morne Morkel comes in for the remainder of the series so he should take Steyn's place.

South Africa: (likely) 1 Richard Levi, 2 Henry Davids, 3 Faf du Plessis (capt), 4 Quinton de Kock (wk), 5 Farhaan Behardien, 6 David Miller, 7 Robin Peterson, 8 Ryan McLaren, 9 Justin Ontong/Aaron Phangiso, 10 Morne Morkel, 11 Rory Kleinveldt

New Zealand will need some experience in their batting and bowling. Martin Guptill and Trent Boult, who missed the first match due to illness, should walk in to the line-up if they recover in time.

New Zealand: (likely) 1 Rob Nicol, 2 Peter Fulton/Martin Guptill, 3 Brendon McCullum (capt & wk), 4 James Franklin, 5 Colin Munro, 6 Corey Anderson, 7 Nathan McCullum, 8 Jimmy Neesham, 9 Doug Bracewell, 10 Ronnie Hira, 11 Mitchell McClenaghan

Stats and Trivia

  • This will be the first T20 to be held in East London.
  • Of the ten completed domestic day-night T20 games at this venue, seven were won by the team batting first.


"We 100% believe that we can win the next game, we've just got to fine tune a couple of areas. I can't fault people for being overly keen to want to get into a series."
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum

"We put a lot of emphasis that we're a young side, so we want to have a lot of energy and we want to have a good presence."
South Africa captain Faf du Plessis

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo