Blackcaps aiming for series whitewash against Pakistan as Tri-Series looms

Seth Rance has been impressive in his T20 opportunities this season.
Seth Rance has been impressive in his T20 opportunities this season. Photo credit: Getty

By George Berry

The Blackcaps are looking to end their series against Pakistan unbeaten and extend their winning streak to 15 matches prior to taking on England and Australia in the T20 Tri-Series, starting next month.

The in-form kiwi side won convincingly against the tourists in the first Twenty20 match at Westpac Stadium on Monday by seven-wickets.

Pakistan were skittled for 105 with stand-in captain Tim Southee and new-comer Seth Rance claiming three-wickets a piece.

Top-order maestro Colin Munro top-scored with the bat scoring 41 to guide his side to a thirteenth straight victory.

Rance believes there’s a lot to take from the seven-wicket win despite the continued dominance.

“I think each game we go in and try to get confidence out of it and play as best as we can,” Rance said.

“So we’re looking at one game at a time and hopefully can finish this series off well.”

Building momentum seems to be a focal point in the Blackcaps’ camp for the final two matches with the tri-series a weeks away - a series that will see games played in both Australia and New Zealand.

Rance said they can’t let their form drop now as the tour reaches its end.

“I don’t think in Twenty-20 cricket there’s such thing as an easy win. Each game is going to be really hard and it’s going to throw us different challenge.”

Known for high-scoring and short boundaries, Rance says the Blackcaps will need to adapt to the unique conditions that Eden Park provides.

“We’re obviously at Eden Park for the first time, so that’s going to be a challenge for us with future games coming up out there in the next series.

“Anything can happen. They’ll come back extremely hard against us, Traditionally (Eden Park) is a high scoring game so they will be looking forward to that. They will be up for this next one,” Rance added.

Blackcaps coach Mike Hesson is likely to stick to his routine of resting key players before the tri-series kicks off on February 3 against Australia in Sydney.

Changes are expected to Thursday’s matchday squad.

Ross Taylor and Tim Southee will be rested while Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson and Captain Kane Williamson are all likely starters for game two.