Date: October 26, 2021
Time: 7:30 PM IST
Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah
Preview: High on confidence Pakistan now face New Zealand in their second match of the ongoing T20 World Cup. While the game on Tuesday will kick off the Kiwis' campaign at the mega event, the Men in Green are already coming on the back of a superb win over their arch-rivals India.
Pitch Report: The pitch at Sharjah Cricket Stadium has been decent so far with help to both the bowlers and batters. However, the small dimensions of the ground and the dew factor also playing a big role in the night games suggest that chasing would be a prudent choice.
Pakistan: Their bowling attack looks dangerous, especially after what Shaheen Shah Afridi did in the first game against India. However, the recent form of pacer Hasan Ali might trouble them if the bowler fails to make a comeback. Meanwhile, the likes of Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim and Mohammad Hafeez combine to provide them a variety in spin attack which could probably be one of the key factors for them in game. Given their openers played brilliantly in the previous match to bag a 10-wicket win, it would be interesting to see how the middle and the infamous lower order of Pakistan perform in the upcoming games.
New Zealand: While their batters ebbed and flowed in the two practice games, New Zealand must be hoping of a better show from the unit in the game against Pakistan. Martin Guptill seemed to be the only consistent performer in the batting. On the other hand, the performances of Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner are going to play a huge role in Black Caps' run in the tournament. In the pace department, Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson look in good touch, while the form of Kyle Jamieson and Tim Southee is a concern for the side.
Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi, Haider Ali, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Jr
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Devon Conway (wk), Glenn Phillips, Kane Williamson (c), James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Daryl Mitchell, Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson, Ish Sodhi, Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Tim Seifert, Mark Chapman, Lockie Ferguson
Conclusion: Considering the recent form and the overall record, Pakistan look favourites to win the game. Saying so, a New Zealand victory cannot be taken out of the equation as they also have world-class players who can win the game on any day against any opponent for the side. Toss is going to play a big role in deciding the result of the match.
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