New Zealand's run drought at the top of the batting order has not fazed Black Caps coach John Bracewell ahead of the vital second one-day cricket international against South Africa in Cape Town tomorrow (NZ time).

Besides skipper Stephen Fleming, who stroked a stylish 45 in the opening match on Sunday which the Proteas won by two wickets, fellow opener Nathan Astle and top order batsmen Lou Vincent and Hamish Marshall have struggled to post runs in South Africa to date.

All three failed to gain valuable crease time in the warm-up match against South Africa A where Fleming compiled a century, and both Astle and Marshall bombed out in the Twenty/20 match won by New Zealand last week.

Bracewell told Radio Sport today more players were starting to hit form, which he felt outweighed the flat patch of his three premier batsmen.

"What we can't afford is to have three or four guys out of form at the same time," Bracewell said.

"That's always going to be costly.

But Stephen Fleming's in good form at the moment, Craig McMillan's in good form at the moment.

"More and more guys are starting to pick up a little bit of rhythm for the tour as it progresses."

Bracewell defended the top-order line-up.

"It's proved to be successful for a short period of time. We won a final with three players just three internationals ago (against India in Zimbabwe last month), and at the moment we have more players being successful then not being successful."

Defeat for New Zealand tomorrow at the Newlands will leave the visitors with a difficult task of winning their first one-day series on South African soil.

In Bloemfontein last Sunday they came close, but a blazing Justin Kemp saw the Proteas escape from 117 for five chasing 250 in the opening game.

The Black Caps competitive total on a flat track was partly due to the late order heroics of Brendon McCullum and Andre Adams, who scored 28 and 30 respectively in rapid-fire time.

It was that lower gusto that Bracewell said enabled the team to carry a lot of confidence in to the match.

"I think our tailenders, Andere Adams and Kyle Mills in particular, have been able to hold the innings together to post a reasonable target at the end. That's allowed Brendon McCullum to hit some form as well. More guys are coming into form."

Following tomorrow's game, the five-match series heads to Port Elizabeth for Sunday's clash (Monday NZ time) before the final two games on November 4 and 6 in Durban and Johannesburg.

- NZPA