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New Zealand vs South Africa | De Grandhomme Makes His Presence Felt With All-round Performance

New Zealand vs South Africa | De Grandhomme Makes His Presence Felt With All-round Performance

New Zealand and all-rounders have a long-running history but nothing about Colin de Grandhomme suggested that he could be the difference between two extremely competitive sides at Edgbaston on Wednesday.

New Zealand and all-rounders have a long-running history but nothing about Colin de Grandhomme suggested that he could be the difference between two extremely competitive sides at Edgbaston on Wednesday. South Africa were beaten by another six in the final over of a must-win game against New Zealand (the other one the memorable Grant Elliott six off Dale Steyn in the 2015 World Cup semi-finals) but the platform for that had been laid by de Grandhomme’s outstanding knock earlier in the innings.

The Kiwi all-rounder walked in with New Zealand recovering after a middle-over slump. James Neesham and Kane Williamson had put up a handy partnership but the innings still needed some impetus. De Grandhomme walked in and gave just that as he thumped the South African bowlers around. He raced to 60 in 47 balls, a strike rate of 127.66 – the only other batsman to score at a rate of over 100 in the match being Rassie van der Dussen – and was dismissed only in the penultimate over of the innings.

De Grandhomme’s onslaught isn’t a surprise considering his striking prowess and statistical history. Since the Champions Trophy in 2017, he has the second highest strike rate in ODIs from positions 5-8 in the batting line-up (minimum 300 runs) Scoring at a rate just over 120, de Grandhomme hasn’t averaged too well but has been silently impactful. The only batsman to strike at a higher rate from the middle-order is Jos Buttler.

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That New Zealand had no one else scoring at a high strike rate underlines the importance of a guy like de Grandhomme in the line-up. He transferred the pressure back onto South Africa at Edgbaston with his crucial cameo and allowed Williamson to take the game deep.

In New Zealand’s history of ODI cricket, there have been quite a few gutsy ball-strikers but de Grandhomme comes second in terms of career strike rate. The only batsman to strike at a better rate is Luke Ronchi. De Grandhomme’s career strike rate stands at an impressive 112.36 now.

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What he would want to do is increase the frequency of such impactful knocks. He averages a suspect 29.41 since the Champions Trophy but given his potential as a game changer, all de Grandhomme might need to focus on is to increase his utility value. On Wednesday, he did that first with a stringent spell of 10-0-33-1 and then followed it up with a brutal 47-ball 60.