New Zealand have sent South Africa in to bat after winning the toss ahead of the Cricket World Cup clash between the two sides at Edgbaston on Wednesday.
There was an hour-long delay, as play could not start at the scheduled time after the outfield was deemed too wet for any action.
The toss was due to take place at 11:30 (SAST), but only a field inspection was possible – following rainy weather around Birmingham.
The toss got underway at 12:30 after another inspection 30 minutes prior, with word coming from the middle stating that the match would be reduced to a 49-over encounter due to the delay.
Another must-win for the Proteas
The Proteas remain near the basement in the standings, with only Pakistan and Afghanistan below them – with their only win so far coming against the latter.
This makes each of their remaining matches after this must-win encounters, with Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia standing between them and a fair shot at a place in the last four.
They will be boosted by the return of fast bowler Lungi Ngidi, who is back at full fitness after missing out on the last two matches.
The speedster, alongside fellow pace ace Kagiso Rabada, will be looking to make early in roads into the Kiwis’ batting line-up, having noted a potential vulnerability in their middle-order.
“I don’t think their middle and lower-order batsmen have been tested enough,” Ngidi said ahead of the game.
“Most of the guys who have scored the runs are at the top of the order. Maybe one or two [wickets] up front, get those guys, get their middle order in as early as possible, and you could be looking at a different situation when it comes to their batting.”
South Africa have not beaten New Zealand in their four World Cup encounters, with their last win coming in the same venue 20 years ago.
New Zealand vs South Africa teams
New Zealand: Guptil, Munro, Williamson, Taylor, Latham, Neesham, De Grandhomme, Santner, Henry, Ferguson, Boult.
South Africa: Amla, De Kock, Markram, Du Plessis, Van Der Dussen, Miller, Phehlukwayo, Morris, Rabada, Tahir, Ngidi.