PMB Oval to host Black Caps’ tour opening match

2012-06-09 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG’S famed Oval will host the opening fixture of the New Zealand 2012 cricket tour to South Africa on December 18.

A South African Invitation XI will take to the field against the Black Caps in a T20 match that will serve as the opener to a tough five-week tour. Having been humbled by South Africa at home earlier this year, New Zealand will be keen to seek revenge when they meet the Proteas in all formats of the game — three T20 matches, three ODIs and two Tests.

The Pietermaritzburg encounter starts at 1 pm and comes three days before the first T20 international in Durban on December 21 to help the visitors acclimatise to playing conditions on the eastern seaboard.

The Black Caps can look forward to quality pitch at the Oval that meets international standards, according to groundsman Jannie Vermaak.

“The pitch will be perfect, and I don’t want to give away anything, but it will produce even bounce and play consistently,” he said.

The match at the Oval is a feather in the cap for the KZN Inland Cricket Union (KZNICU) and its endeavours to bring more international cricket to the capital city of the province.

“We are proud to be bringing the tour opener to Pietermaritzburg and believe the achievement speaks of KZNICU’s stature with Cricket South Africa,” said president Yunus Bhamjee. “The Oval is one the country’s top grounds and is a world-class venue, and we’d like to invite the Pietermaritzburg community to support the match,” he said.

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