BLACKCAPS ready for curtain-raiser

The BLACKCAPS begin their tour of South Africa overnight with a four-day game against a Rest of South Africa XI at Benoni’s Willowmoore Park.

State Central Stags captain Jacob Oram and State Canterbury Wizards opener Michael Papps have been added to the 13-man squad which enjoyed Test success against the West Indies.

The draw in the third National Bank Test at Napier extended the BLACKCAPS’ unbeaten run in the five-day game to seven, a record for the team.

In contrast, the Proteas must go back eight games to their last victory, but they did enjoy One-Day International success against the BLACKCAPS last year.

The South African XI is captained by Neil McKenzie and coached by national team assistant Vincent Barnes.

The side is packed with senior internationals, including Garnett Kruger, Monde Zondeki, Thami Tsolekile and Justin Ontong.

However, Test batsman Boeta Dipenaar misses out through illness and is replaced by Stephen Cook while Johan van der Wath, originally named in the squad, is replaced by Rory Kleinveldt.

Vaughn van Jaarsveld is 12th man for a team without representation from KZN Dolphins and the Eastern Titans, who are currently contesting the domestic SuperSport Series final.

The match starts 8pm Friday NZT (10am local time).

BLACKCAPS: Stephen Fleming (captain), Daniel Vettori (vice captain), Nathan Astle, Shane Bond, Peter Fulton, James Franklin, Jamie How, Brendon McCullum, Hamish Marshall, Chris Martin, Kyle Mills, Jacob Oram, Michael Papps, Jeetan Patel, Scott Styris.

Rest of South Africa squad: Stephen Cook, Alviro Petersen, Davey Jacobs, Neil McKenzie, JP Duminy, Justin Ontong, Thami Tsolekile, Rory Kleinveldt, Robin Peterson, Garnett Kruger, Monde Zondeki, Vaughn van Jaarsveld.

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