South Africa in New Zealand, 2017

Ross Houston
February 17, 2017

New Zealand won the toss and, given the amount of time the pitch and been undercover, a humid evening and the lingering threat of showers, it was little surprise that they bowled first. The game was played on February 22, 2012, which South Africa won by three runs while defending their total of 165. Both New Zealand and South Africa will be keen on making a winning start.

Persistent rain had ceased and, despite the presence of some ominous-looking clouds around Eden Park, was holding off as New Zealand won the toss and elected to bowl first in the lone Twenty20 worldwide against South Africa at Eden Park on Friday night. New Zealand, who are the current top ranked team in T20Is, have always been dominated by South Africa.

For South Africa, who had their warm-up T20 against a New Zealand XI cancelled on Wednesday, this match can now serve as an efficient warm-up for the rest of the tour.

Given it's one-off nature, the contest was expected to be an appetising entree for highly-anticipated one-day global and test series' between two in-form and confident teams.

De Villiers led the South African T20I side last time in New Zealand but this time, it is not sure yet.

Rain has hampered both teams' preparations and could endanger the match itself‚ but that didn't bother Williamson unduly. He is none other than New Zealand's spearhead of the attack - Tim Southee, who scalped five for 18 from his spell of four overs with one maiden against Pakistan in 2010-11. However, New Zealand will hardly enjoy the home advantage as South African and Down Under conditions are similar in many always. So, it is expected all matches will be high scoring affairs. The T20I will be followed by five ODIs and three Tests.

Backing up a 5-0 sweep of Australia in a home ODI series, the Proteas then travelled to claim a brilliant test series triumph against the same country.

Guptill injured his right hamstring during training, a separate injury to the one on his left leg that ruled the opening batsman out of the Bangladesh T20 series in January and one-day matches against Australia earlier this month.

Other reports by iNewsToday