New Zealand look to snap Pakistan’s winning streak
Winning can become a habit. When a team is winning, even well-contested and close games usually go in their favour. Such a streak breeds confidence and instils belief. With 10 consecutive series wins in the shortest format of the game, Pakistan is one such side that is going through a winning streak. The Asian country whitewashed Australia 3-0 and followed it up with a nail-biting two-run victory versus New Zealand in the first T20I of the three-match series in Abu Dhabi. Despite Ross Taylor staying till the end with a quickfire 42 and Colin Munro’s fifty, New Zealand slipped to a narrow loss.
The Pakistan camp would be pleased with the way the pacers bowled in the slog overs. The duo of Shaheen Shah Afridi and Hasan Ali mixed up their lengths to restrict the opposition ranks. With the bat, Mohammad Hafeez (45) and Sarfraz Ahmed (34) made useful contributions. On the other hand, the hosts could be a tad worried about their top order collapse. However, Babar Azam, who fell for just seven runs in the first T20I, was in splendid form versus Australia, accumulating 163 runs.
Meanwhile, going into the crucial second game, the visitors would expect a better show from the middle order. After a good start from Munro and Glenn Phillips, New Zealand lost four wickets for the addition of just 39 runs. Conditions in UAE could get tougher to bat for the middle order batsmen, and New Zealand would be banking their hopes on Kane Williamson, the captain, to shepherd the middle order.
On the positive side, Taylor, the other experienced batsman, played with purpose and composure. The bowlers, too, bowled with discipline and it was only in the final over when Imad Wasim launched into Tim Southee to crack a four and a six that Pakistan reached a competitive total.
When: Friday, November 2, 2018. 8:00 pm local.
Where: Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai
What to expect: Pakistan have won all their T20I games this season in UAE batting first. And with conditions usually favouring the team batting first in UAE, the team that wins the toss could opt to take first strike. Weather is expected to be warm with a gentle breeze likely to blow across in the evening.
The hosts, in all likelihood, are set to continue with the winning side, while New Zealand could be tempted to bring in the explosive Mark Chapman to bolster the batting line-up.
Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Sahibzada Farhan, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Hussain Talat, Sarfraz Ahmed(c), Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Usman Khan, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Waqas Maqsood, Faheem Ashraf
New Zealand: Kane Williamson(c), Mark Chapman, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Seth Rance, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Corey Anderson, Glenn Phillips, Ajaz Patel