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Black Caps T20 Series Report Card

opinion Max Bania

By Max Bania

Published: 6:31AM Friday February 24, 2012 Source: ONE Sport

  • Jesse Ryder hits out during his 42-ball 52.  (Source: Photosport)
    Jesse Ryder hits out during his 42-ball 52. - Source: Photosport

Martin Guptill. 3 matches, 151 runs at 75.5, strike rate 139.

Tops New Zealand's run-scoring charts for a fourth series running but will harbour regrets about not being there to guide the team to victory in the biggest game of the summer so far. Hit one of the biggest sixes in New Zealand cricket history in the successful run chase in Wellington.

Grade: A

Rob Nicol. 3 matches, 69 runs at 23, SR 128. 3 wickets at 11, ER 6.6.

Though his personal numbers aren't outstanding, opening partnerships of 37, 49 and 65 with Guptill set New Zealand up with a solid base in each game. Outstanding in the field and invaluable with the ball, particularly in Auckland where he halted South Africa's charge in its tracks.

Grade: A-

Jesse Ryder. 1 match, 52 runs at 52, SR 124.

Ryder could hardly have further polarised already divided public opinion in his comeback match in Auckland. Looked superb in reaching 49 off 30 balls, before what seemed to be fatigue and jitters saw him take two overs to score another three, by which time all momentum was lost.

Grade: A-

Brendon McCullum. 3 matches, 69 runs at 23, SR 103.

Failed to make a decisive contribution but most surprising was his strike rate, which at barely a run a ball isn't acceptable for a hitter of his calibre. Was his usual tidy self behind the stumps and led the team well but there was a crucial spark missing to his batting.

Grade: B

Kane Williamson. 3 matches, 58 runs at 29, SR 116.

A mixed series after a strong showing against Zimbabwe. Finished the innings well in Hamilton failed to see his jittery side home in Auckland. Also ran himself out in poor fashion in Wellington for a second time in three innings - something to work on perhaps. His off-spinners were collared by Justin Ontong in Auckland.

Grade: B-

James Franklin. 3 matches, 45 runs at 45, SR 205.

A freakishly-high strike rate was helped greatly by his blazing 10-ball 28 in Hamilton, but Franklin too couldn't deliver the knockout blow in the series decider in Auckland. Did contribute the crucial wicket of dangerman Richard Levi in that match - albeit to a catch on the boundary from a leg-stump half-volley.

Grade: B

Colin de Grandhomme. 2 matches, 5 runs at 5, SR 50.

Had very few opportunities to impress, but the Aucklander was picked on his ability to finish the innings with brutal cameos and he failed to deliver. Looked all at sea during a painstaking seven-ball stay in Hamilton.

Grade: C-

Nathan McCullum. 3 matches, 2 wickets at 28, ER 7.

It's no longer a surprise to see him opening the bowling, but McCullum remains effective in the role as his wonderful spell of four overs for 16 showed. Only had to bat once and it wasn't memorable, as his ill-advised paddle sweep that was skied to the keeper summed up the bona fide choke that was the Auckland performance.

Grade: B

Doug Bracewell. 3 matches, 1 wicket at 75, ER 8.3.

Did little to silence those who believe he'd be better served focusing on his Test bowling, copping an absolute hiding from the rampant Richard Levi in Hamilton. To his credit he bounced back well in Auckland, but we're still yet to see any of his alleged ability with the bat.

Grade: C

Kyle Mills. 2 matches, no wickets for 70 runs, ER 11.7.

Though he's been a great servant of the one-day team, Mills' lack of pace makes him a liability in the shorter version of the game and some of his boundary fielding inspired little confidence either. Most concerning is his slower ball isn't the batsman-choking weapon it has been in the past.

Grade: C

Tim Southee. 3 matches, 5 wickets at 18, ER 7.5.

New Zealand's best pace bowler and the only man to bowl his full complement of overs in each game. In between being taken to by Levi in Hamilton, Southee produced a couple of displays of full, straight and threatening bowling that would've done the watching-from-home Dale Steyn proud.

Grade: A

Michael Bates. 1 matches, no wickets for 29 runs, ER 9.3

Another who was rightly picked on impressive domestic form but found the step up from Zimbabwe to the Proteas too great. Wasn't sighted until Auckland, whereupon two overs with the new ball cost him 22 runs as Hashim Amla and Albie Morkel gave him no chance to settle.

Grade: C

Ronnie Hira. 3 matches, 1 wicket at 66, ER 8.3.

What's admirable about Hira is that he isn't afraid to continue giving the ball air when he's being collared; and he largely was collared in this series but we always knew Dan Vettori's successor wouldn't be found in a day. Should've been used earlier in Hamilton to try and force Levi to make the pace.

Grade: B-

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