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Middle order needs to step up for New Zealand

Visiting side needs Elliott, Ronchi to fire to square series in second and final T20I against South Africa

Middle order needs to step up for New Zealand - Cricket News
With injuries ruling out Ross Taylor and Corey Anderson, the middle order is short of experience and firepower.
A New Zealand side missing several key players will look to save the series when it takes on South Africa in the second and final Twenty20 International in Centurion on Sunday (August 16).

New Zealand came into the series fresh from an 80-run win over Zimbabwe in a one-off T20I in Harare but slipped in the first game against South Africa, losing by six wickets in Durban.

The visiting side depends a lot on Kane Williamson, New Zealand's captain in Brendon McCullum's absence, and will seek an improved performance from its middle order. It was in a strong position at 102 for 2 in the 13th over after Williamson and Martin Guptill, its openers, had given them a quick start but lost its way in the middle and ended with just 151, which the home side chased with more than two overs to spare.

With injuries ruling out Ross Taylor and Corey Anderson, the middle order is short of experience and firepower, and New Zealand need the likes of Grant Elliott and Luke Ronchi to step up.

Just like the batting department, the bowling attack misses Tim Southee, who has been rested, and Trent Boult, who is out with an injury. Williamson used as many as seven bowlers in the first match but was unable to stop South Africa from easing to victory.     

South Africa too is missing some key players but seem to have adequate bench strength. Faf du Plessis, its T20I captain, missed the first game with a knee injury and his participation will depend on a fitness test on the day of the match. JP Duminy too is missing the series due to the birth of his first child. 

AB de Villiers, who filled in as captain, was expected to open the batting but pushed himself to No. 3 in the first match, allowing Morne van Wyk to partner Hashim Amla at the top. Despite the absence of du Plessis and Duminy, the batting line-up looks in good shape, with the top four batsmen among the runs in the first match.

The bowling attack is led by Morne Morkel but it was the left-arm spin of Aaron Phangiso and variations of David Wiese that forced a turnaround in Durban. New Zealand will have to lift its game quickly if it is to square the series. 


South Africa:
Faf du Plessis (capt), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, AB de Villiers, Eddie Leie, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Aaron Phangiso, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Morne van Wyk (wkt), David Wiese. 

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (capt), Doug Bracewell, Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi (wkt), Ben Wheeler, George Worker.

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