|Event:||New Zealand in South Africa 2012/13|
DateLine: 24th January 2013
South Africa v New Zealand
3rd ODI 2013
The third and final one day international of New Zealand's tour of South Africa takes place in Potchefstroom on Friday. As far as the series goes it's a dead rubber but few would have predicted that it would be the Proteas who seek the consolation win.
The Black Caps have turned the tables dramatically while winning both the matches in the series so far against the Proteas. A quite superb unbeaten 145 from Kane Williamson set up a 27 run win at Kimberley on Tuesday, even though South Africa were in the game at the interval when they were tasked with chasing 280 for victory on an excellent batting deck. A mind boggling five run outs in the Proteas innings alongside one in New Zealand's takes some working out in what was a pretty strange game. All this came on the back of New Zealand's thrilling single wicket victory at Paarl in last weekend's series opener and it leaves the South African selectors to ponder the merits of resting key players at selected times in this series ahead of Pakistan's tour to come.
After this match, Proteas skipper AB de Villiers completes his two match ban and Hashim Amla was a late withdrawal before the Kimberley game so Dean Elgar has been called up as his replacement. Robin Petersen is also injured so there could be an ODI debut for Aaron Phangiso as we head to Potchefstroom.
The hosts would be desperate to win the final game and avoid a clean-sweep and hoping that their batsmen step in the ground with some fire to support their dangerous bowling attack and much will depend on Graeme Smith who who is thought to be a pillar of the batting side. Du Plessis needs to be focused and play a captain's knock if he wants any chance of avoiding a white-wash. The bowling is not much of a problem for the hosts but we might see Steyn included in the playing-XI to add that extra spice to the bowling line-up.
Martin Guptill started the tour with an unbeaten century in a Twenty20 match but hasn't done much since then. He had scores of 1, 0, 1 and 48 in the two Tests and his run got worse with two ducks in the ODIs. His place in the team is likely to come under the scanner ahead of the England tour and this match is his last chance on this tour to reiterate his value.
New Zealand are unlikely to change their winning combination. Recent data is thin on the ground as far as ODI's at this venue are concerned. Seven ODI's involving the Proteas had been scheduled for this venue to date but the first, against New Zealand, was washed out in 2000. We saw a thrilling tie against Australia here two years later and the Proteas have won the other five very comfortably although the opposition was provided by the likes of Zimbabwe, (twice) Bangladesh (twice) and Kenya.
A flat deck is expected in Potchefstroom on what promises to be yet another hot day. The venue has been a happy hunting ground for the home team, who are yet to lose a match here.
South Africa: (probable) 1 Graeme Smith, 2 Quinton de Kock (wk), 3 Colin Ingram, 4 Faf du Plessis (capt), 5 Farhaan Behardien, 6 David Miller, 7 Ryan McLaren, 8 Aaron Phangiso, 9 Rory Kleinveldt/Dale Steyn, 10 Morne Morkel, 11 Lonwabo Tsotsobe.
New Zealand: (probable) 1 BJ Watling, 2 Martin Guptill, 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Grant Elliot, 5 Brendon McCullum (capt & wk), 6 James Franklin, 7 Colin Munro, 8 Jimmy Neesham, 9 Nathan McCullum, 10 Kyle Mills, 11 Mitchell McClenaghan.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
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