New Zealand in SA
Henry expects Paarl run-fest
Omar Henry (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Former SA spinner Omar Henry predicts a run-fest when the Proteas take on New Zealand in the first one-day international at Boland Park in Paarl on Saturday.
Henry, the current CEO of Boland cricket, on Wednesday told the EWN Sport website
the wicket will be bouncy which should favour the batsmen.
“If you can bat on a bouncy wicket, you can score runs. South Africa’s proved that. If you’ve got the technique then you can score runs.” Henry also feels conditions will suit the home side.
However, he warned that the Kiwis will be a much tougher nut to crack than in the Test series, when they lost both Tests by an innings margin. South Africa also won the T20 series 2-1.
“If New Zealand can adapt to the pitch then I’m sure they will give South Africa a good game."
This is the second ODI in Paarl in as many years, and current ticket sales suggest that the Proteas will play in front of a full 10 000-strong crowd again. Henry said the preparations are smoother the second time around and that they have made good progress from the short-comings experienced last year.
“If you take it back to last year, I think we surprised a lot of people out there with the staging of the ODI,” Henry said on Tuesday. “Last year was a good eye-opener about our short-comings but it also gave us a positive indication of the highs we can reach as a union. This stadium continues to be a work in progress but we are really excited about the improvements we have made.
"We have challenged ourselves to improve according to Cricket South Africa’s assessment and we have made good progress. We are looking forward to a packed house, an awesome atmosphere and a great showing of international cricket,” Henry concluded.
The second ODI takes place in Kimberley on January 22, with the series ending in Potchefstroom on January 25.