SuperSport Park, Centurion – Thursday, September 24, 2009
South Africa will be looking fo finally get their campaign up and running against New Zealand later today, lose and they are already relying on other results only 3 days into the competition.
After Tuesday’s thrashing by Sri Lanka, Graeme Smith’s men know they can’t afford any slip ups against the Kiwi’s if they are to continue their pursuit of losing their nearly men tags. The game was a disaster for Smith, there was always the possibility that South Africa might be slightly undercooked after not playing since April.
What the South African public didn’t bank on though was Graeme Smith winning the toss and electing to bowl and watching his opponents rack up over 300 , Smith still maintains it was the right decision though. Bowlers Wayne Parnell and Albie Morkel in particular were most expensive, in what was an all round shabby performance in the field from the Africans.
New Zealand will be hoping to cash in on that rustiness and also hoping that Graeme Smith’s men will falter under the expectations of being the host nation. Vettori’s team haven’t been that brilliant themselves this year in 50 over cricket, slipping down to 7th in the rankings (thats even behind England).
The Kiwi’s have Shane Bond back in the fold after his ICL absence and also have Jeetan Patel back after he injured a knee playing for Warwickshire this year. Big hitters Jesse Ryder and Ross Taylor will be hoping to put down a marker at an international tournament after showing a lot of promise over the last 12 months.
South Africa – Graeme Smith (C), Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Mark Boucher (WK), Albie Morkel, Johan Botha, Roelof van der Merwe, Makhaya Ntini, Dale Steyn.
New Zealand – Brendon McCullum (WK), Jesse Ryder, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Grant Elliott, Jacob Oram, Neil Broom, Daniel Vettori (C), Kyle Mills, Jeetan Patel, Shane Bond.