26 Aug 2015

Milestone win looms for Black Caps

12:41 pm on 26 August 2015

Another milestone win looms for the Black Caps when they play South Africa in the third and deciding one day cricket match in Durban in tonight.

The three-match series is level at 1-1 and victory would bring up a third straight ODI series win for the side, on the back of victories over Pakistan in Abu Dhabi in December and last month's win in Zimbabwe.

Winning the series would also keep New Zealand third on the world rankings behind Australia and India, and ahead of South Africa.

And the Black Caps have done it all without leading players Brendon McCullum, Tim Southee and Trent Boult - although that hasn't surprised fast bowler Adam Milne.

Black Caps bowler Adam Milne

Adam Milne will be part of the Black Caps side chasing a third straight ODI series win. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"A team without Brendon, Trent and Tim played in Dubai not long ago and won that series so I wouldn't say I was surprised (by the way we have performed)," he said.

"We're a young team led by a good captain (in Kane Williamson) and good leader so no I haven't been surprised."

Despite the absence of the experienced trio, competition for places remains tight, said assistant coach Dimi Mascarenhas.

Black Caps bowling coach Dimi Mascarenhas.

Black Caps bowling coach Dimi Mascarenhas Photo: Supplied

"Overall we've shown a lot of signs of improvement over this tour, and there has been strong competition for places.

"We have great bowlers here who aren't playing, Matt Henry who hasn't played on this South African leg of the tour; Mitch [McClenaghan] missing out last game.

"Then we have the likes of George Worker (a late substitute on the tour for injured spinner Mitch Santner) called in at the last minute in the last game (after Jimmy Neesham sustained a niggle in the warmups) and he sees us home with the bat. It shows the value of the players' preparation, all of them giving it everything to be part of this team."

The match is due to start at 10.30pm.