CAPE TOWN - Stephen Fleming's Black Caps face an almost do-or-die cricket match against South Africa at Newlands in Cape Town on Friday (Saturday NZT).

Victory in the second of five one-day internationals is crucial as they attempt to get back on even terms having lost a game they should have won in Bloemfontein last Sunday.

The Proteas' escape from 117 for five chasing 250 in the opening game has given the home side a huge sense of belief and left the tourists not only playing playing 'catch-up' cricket, but as Daniel Vettori admitted, given Graeme Smith's team a potentially crucial sense of momentum.

"Both teams wanted to grab that first game and we were in with a chance all the way through -- we both knew how important it was.

"The momentum is now with South Africa but if we can take two games this weekend, or even split the games, then we're in with a chance. But the Cape Town game is really, really important," Vettori said of the day-nighter.

The third game of the series will be played in Port Elizabeth on Sunday, and if New Zealand make the hour long flight down the Garden Route coast two-nil down, few will give them a chance of taking an historic, first series win on South African soil.

But there will be no gambling with the team and no panic ahead of Friday's match. Simplicity will be the key.

"We need to get the basics right. A couple of missed catches and a couple of run outs cost us in the first game," Vettori said.

"We need to smarten those things up against a side like South Africa who do get the basics right."

Both squads are packed with allrounders making batting and bowling permutations more luxurious than is the case for any other nation.

The last time New Zealand were in South Africa they suffered the indignity of seeing pinch-hitter Nicky Boje score back-to-back centuries at number three.

But Vettori said the visitors will play it by the book.

"Not for us. We've always liked to know what our roles are and we've usually got ourselves into trouble by mixing it up. I don't see too many changes for us.

"South Africa like to spring a few changes and Nicky Boje has enjoyed batting against us so perhaps they'll spring a surprise or two," Vettori said.

New Zealand have an injury concern with Jacob Oram's troublesome back possibly ruling him out of Friday's game and setting him back for a week, but Scott Styris survived a vigorous fitness test after suffering a strained hamstring and looks set to start having missed the tour opener.

The last time the teams met at Newlands five years ago Lance Klusener smashed the final two deliveries to the boundary to win a game that had seemed even more 'lost' than the one in Bloemfontein last week and a ground record target of 257 was chased down with just three wickets to spare.

Another batting friendly pitch been promised at Newlands, but with Saturday's match (NZT) a day-nighter, the white ball can swing in circles under floodlights in Cape Town.