South Africa have an unassailable 1-0 series lead going into the second T20 against New Zealand on Sunday.
Venue: SuperSport Park, Centurion
Date: Sunday, August 16
Start time: 2 p.m. local time, 1 p.m. BST
Live on: SuperSport and SABC (South Africa), SkySports (New Zealand and UK), TEN Sports (India) and Willow TV (USA)
Weather: No problems with the weather in Pretoria this time of the year. It might still be winter, but according to AccuWeather.com, it's going to be a balmy 27 degrees Celsius.
The limited-overs series between South Africa and New Zealand is moving along nicely. South Africa won the first match in Durban comfortably and will seek to complete a 2-0 T20 series win before the one-day games.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the hosts, though. They won the toss and opted to bowl first, but things could have been far worse than the 151 New Zealand posted. South Africa’s bowlers were woeful during the powerplay in the first T20.
While some of that can be excused by saying the conditions were as unfamiliar to them as they were to New Zealand (cricket has never been played in Durban in August before), South Africa looked out of ideas far too quickly.
David Wiese and Aaron Phangiso combined to help South Africa pull things back and New Zealand’s middle order flopped.
South Africa made light work of the chase with everyone making starts. Hashim Amla and Rilee Rossouw were particularly impressive with the bat.
The hosts now do face a slight selection conundrum. Firstly, Faf du Plessis picked up a slight knock and had to sit out of the first match. It meant that Morne van Wyk stepped in and did the job. The Proteas have to decide whether they want to risk Du Plessis not just with the one-day series against New Zealand to look forward to, but also a lengthy tour against India in a few months.
Logic would dictate that Van Wyk should keep on playing and keeping since it offers De Villiers some reprieve from the strain wicketkeeping puts on his back. But, logic rarely triumphs in cricket selection so only time will tell what the outcome is.
Also to consider is whether Eddie Leie should be given a try. Aaron Phangiso was the preferred spinner in Durban, but South Africa have nothing to lose in giving Lieie a go as they search for options ahead of the World T20 in India next year. Considering how well Phangiso bowled, though, it'll be a tricky choice.
Kagiso Rabada might still be quite green, but he’s becoming a real go-to guy for South Africa. On the pitch in Centurion, he’ll get more pace and bounce and can build a lot of pressure from one end.
Although he got out somewhat unnecessarily in the first T20, Martin Guptill is in some decent form at the moment. He is crucial at the top of the order to help see off the shine of the new ball and help the Black Caps set a total.
South Africa: David Wiese, Faf du Plessis, Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, AB de Villiers, Eddie Leie, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Aaron Phangiso, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Morne van Wyk
New Zealand: George Worker, Ross Taylor, Grant Elliott, Matt Henry, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, James Neesham, Ish Sodhi, Ben Wheeler, Doug Bracewell, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Nathan McCullum, Colin Munro, Luke Ronchi, Kane Williamson
All information obtained firsthand, unless otherwise stated.