New Zealand captain Kane Williamson believes their late-innings meltdown against South Africa in the opening Twenty20 international at Durban was a blip and is expecting better in the second game in Centurion.
The Black Caps can square the two-game series with victory on Sunday but their middle and lower-order batting will need to be far more clinical than what they offered in the eight-wicket opening loss.
The tourists unravelled after reaching 1-102 in the 13th over following bright knocks of 42 from openers Williamson and Guptill.
They lost their next seven wickets for 49 runs, stilting their run rate as they reached 8-151, a target South Africa chased down effortlessly in the 18th over.
“It was probably a 180 wicket if we were able to cash in on the back overs,” Williamson said.
“We know we have the batting firepower to cash in on situations like that and weren’t quite able to get on top of them.
“We lost two wickets in a row a couple of times, which puts the brakes on.”
Williamson paid tribute to South Africa’s bowlers, particularly spinner and man of the match Aaron Phangiso, who gained decent turn on a grassy pitch.
The skipper was stumped as he started to accelerate in a key moment but the New Zealanders say they will be better prepared on Sunday for the left-arm tweaker at a venue which is traditionally a batting paradise.
“We weren’t far off but we need to be better going to the next one,” Williamson said.
“There are positives to take from it. I was happy with the energy in the field. There weren’t quite enough runs but the boys stuck at it.”