Sunday, August 23, 2015
Start time 1000 local (0800 GMT)
'Didn't play to our potential but got an ugly win' - Behardien
The awkward reunion is over. Dale Steyn bowled to New Zealand unscathed. Vernon Philander got the better of Grant Elliott and South Africa's line-up scored more than enough runs against New Zealand. AB de Villiers could confidently say "we are definitely past the World Cup," after the victory in Centurion and even though this is not quite the same thing, it seems South Africa really are moving on.
Even though they were not at their best, South Africa dominated New Zealand far more than the 20-run margin made it seem. They bossed their innings for most of the way but New Zealand were pleased that they pulled back a score that looked headed for 320-plus to just 300. They were also pleased they came close in the chase, but really, there were only a few moments in which South Africa did not look in control and most of those came when trying to take catches.
There won't be any lights to contend with this time so spotting the ball should be easier and AB de Villiers will demand a more energetic showing in the field. Likewise, Kane Williamson will demand a more enthusiastic allround performance.
One place where eagerness won't be missing is in the crowd. The student town of Potchefstroom scarcely sees international cricket - the last ODI played there was more than two years ago - and the locals are looking forward to the occasion. Senwes Park has been sold out for days.
(last five completed games most recent first)
South Africa WLLWL New Zealand LWWLL
In the spotlight
After the fuss over Morne van Wyk being overlooked for the tour of Bangladesh despite scoring a T20 century against West Indies in January, the wicketkeeper has underwhelmed on recall. He has scored just 38 runs in three matches and appears to be applying too much aggression too early in his innings. Van Wyk's time is running out to push for a permanent spot, especially as Quinton de Kock regains form for the A side and this may be his last chance to do that.
The short ball seems to be the only one Mitchell McClenaghan is comfortable bowling and so far it has given him mixed results. On the same Centurion surface, McClenaghan found it effective in the T20s but less so in the ODI and it will be interesting to see whether he decides to bang it in again in Potchefstroom. The pitch is one of the less lively ones in South Africa and McClenaghan could be bending his back in vain but he may not have any other approach.
Faf du Plessis was confirmed as being out of the series on Wednesday, so South Africa will have to stick with the batting line-up they had in Centurion. They will probably also want to allow David Wiese another opportunity to settle at No.7. Kyle Abbott and Aaron Phangiso will likely miss out again.
South Africa (probable): 1 Morne van Wyk (wk), 2 Hashim Amla, 3 Rilee Rossouw, 4 AB de Villiers (capt) 5 David Miller, 6 Farhaan Behardien, 7 David Wiese, 8 Vernon Philander, 9 Kagiso Rabada, 10 Dale Steyn 11 Imran Tahir
Martin Guptill could still play a part for New Zealand after injuring his hand in the field in the first ODI. An MRI scan revealed no fracture so he could open the batting. If he is unable to, New Zealand may need Kane Williamson to do the job and could slot in George Worker in the middle order. They may also consider playing only one specialist spinner, instead of two, giving Doug Bracewell or Matt Henry an opportunity in the XI.
New Zealand (probable) : 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Tom Latham, 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Colin Munro, 5 Grant Elliott, 6 Jimmy Neesham, 7 Luke Ronchi (wk), 8 Nathan McCullum, 9 Doug Bracewell, 10 Mitchell McClenagahan, 11 Adam Milne
Pitch and conditions
Unusually warm weather for this time year on the Highveld is going to create a faux summer, which may mean conditions could resemble what they are in season as well. A run-packed road with not much in it for the bowlers is the norm but given the time of year, it may be a little slower than usual. A warm day is forecast with temperatures at 29 degrees, a light breeze and cloudless skies.
Stats and Trivia
If South Africa win the series, they will go to third on the ODI rankings.
Expect another high-scoring game. The average total in Potchefstroom is 339 and it there only seems to be a small discrimination in favour of the chasing team. The side batting first has won seven of the 15 matches in which there has been a result, the side fielding first has won eight.
"We are definitely past the World Cup, we are looking ahead to 2017 Champions Trophy. This is a nice series to test our skills and get a bit of rhythm going going forward." The ghosts have been exorcised according to AB de Villiers
"We've put ourselves in this position a couple of times over the last year or so, with going behind in a series and we are well versed in what it takes to make those 1% improvements and come back stronger in the next games." Jimmy Neesham expects New Zealand to fight back enough to win the series