13 Jan 2018

Black Caps want better death bowling

4:51 am on 13 January 2018

The New Zealand cricketers are targeting an improved death-bowling performance in today's third one-day international against Pakistan in Dunedin.

Tim Southee.

Tim Southee. Photo: Photosport

The Black Caps have recorded two comfortable wins, both under the Duckworth- Lewis system, in their opening games of the five-match series.

The first in Wellington a week ago was by 61 runs, while the second on Wednesday in Nelson was by eight wickets.

But skipper Kane Williamson says his team will need to do better today at the University Oval.

"We learned a few lessons, I suppose, from the last game. They bat very deep, the Pakistani side, and that is the sign of a good team - we know they keep coming hard," Williamson said.

Pakistan recovered from 141 for 7 in the 37th over in Nelson, to set a respectable tally of 246 for 9.

Tailenders Hasan Ali and Shadab Khan belted 70 runs off 43 balls for the eighth wicket, Hasan making 51 off 31 balls and Shadab reaching 52.

"We were able to take those early wickets, which certainly helped us, but their lower order came out and then put together a partnership that gave them a total which could have been a tough chase," Williamson said.

"It was a great sign for them but it's important we learn from that as well and look to do that a little bit better.

"We perhaps weren't quite at our best after we'd taken a number of early wickets, and didn't close out the last few.

"We want to be a little bit better there."

The Black Caps have been boosted by the return of allrounder Colin de Grandhomme, back from bereavement leave after his father's death.

Although de Grandhomme has been named in the match-day 12, Williamson says it's yet to be decided if he'll replace one of New Zealand's spinning allrounders Mitchell Santner or Todd Astle.

"The wicket at the moment, they sprinkled it with a bit of water, so we want to have another look when it's fully prepared," Williamson said.

"Colin comes as an allrounder option - we'll have a look tomorrow and see what we think of the surface, whether it's more conducive to spin or seam."