Marizanne Kapp and Shabnim Ismail put on a bowling display against New Zealand that is equal to any opening bowlers in the world. They outclassed the White Ferns and the series effectively won for South Africa by the fall of Suzie Bates wicket in the 24th over.
The White Ferns made some interesting team changes that had a sense of desperation about it; a team struggling both tactically and with performance. Green came in for Down, Jess Kerr for Rosemary Mair and Katey Martin in for Rachel Priest. After just one loss I would think this would be somewhat unsettling for players in the squad.
The early wickets of Green and Bezuidenhout put the Kiwis on the back foot and the duo combined beautifully, with the White Ferns’ batters having no answers. The technical issues were made more obvious with the skill of the South African bowlers and identified a lack of development in the last three years. Marizanne Kapp deserves congratulations after an impressive 4/29 off her 8 overs and was well supported by all the South African attack.
New Zealand’s bowling lacks penetration; Devine opening up with debutante Jess Kerr was an interesting choice and didn’t appear to put the batters under any pressure, Amelia Kerr looked lost making her ineffective and exposing the spin bowling attack. Huddleston was hardly used and brought in late in the South African innings, Jensen didn’t bowl a ball.
The White Ferns and New Zealand are in trouble, the fact that Amy Sattherwaite and Lea Tahuhu aren’t available is clearly a consideration, but their absence shouldn’t have such an impact on the remaining team members. The domestic competition in NZ is weak and NZC needs to make some changes to ensure there are up and coming stars to replace the old guard of Martin, Bates, Devine, Sattherwaite, and Tahuhu.
Based on this latest performance New Zealand should be thankful they are hosting the World Cup next year, or they would miss out on qualifying, and in fact, would be pushed by the likes of Pakistan or the West Indies.
In her after match speech Captain Devine suggested the “White Ferns could beat anyone if they play to their potential”; however, this seems difficult to believe considering their recent results. It will be interesting to see which White Ferns team turns up for the third ODI, they need to win and win well to at least have some momentum going into the T20 series coming up next week.