Man of the Match: Babar Azam
Resurgent Pakistan aims to end New Zealand's streak at Birmingham
Our Prediction is Pakistan to win the match!
New Zealand will be looking to extend their lead at the top of points table when they take on Pakistan in the 33rd game of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in Birmingham on Wednesday.
Kane Williamson’s side has played excellent cricket so far in this competition and will be looking to maintain winning streak against Pakistan. The will certainly need to raise their game with the ball in order to beat Pakistan.
On the other hand, Pakistan will be looking to continue their winning momentum after registering a much-needed win over South Africa. Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed will be hoping that the side can improve their fielding as they spilled a lot of chances against South Africa.
Kane Williamson-led unit is currently lying at the top of the table in this World Cup with 11 points in six matches played. The side managed to keep their nerves to eke out a narrow win over West Indies in their previous World Cup game played at Old Trafford, Manchester.
The main cause of concern for New Zealand going into this game will be lack of runs from the opening pair of Martin Guptill and Colin Munro. The duo perished for ducks in the previous game played against New Zealand. New Zealand will be hoping that the likes of Munro and Guptill can produce runs for the side against Pakistan.
Captain Kane Williamson notched up his second consecutive century of the competition. He anchored the whole the innings for New Zealand. He scored a breathtaking 148 runs off 154 balls with the help of 14 fours and a six. Williamson will be looking to continue his good form against Pakistan at Lords.
Ross Taylor delivered a crucial half-century in the previous game played against West Indies. He came to the crease after New Zealand lost two wickets in the opening over of the innings. Taylor put on a 160-run partnership with Kane Williamson to bail the side out of trouble. He played a supporting role to Williamson and chipped in with 69 runs off 95 balls. The 35-year old will be looking to get a big score for the side in this game.
Wicket-keeper Tom Latham, Colin de Grandhomme, James Neesham have contributed with decent scores for the side in this World Cup. In the bowling department, the new-ball pair of Trent Boult and Matt Henry has shown excellent form in this World Cup. Boult was the standout bowler on display in the previous game and finished with figures of 4 for 30 from his 10 overs.
Henry will need to improve as he conceded a lot of runs in the previous game played against West Indies. Lockie Ferguson has been a surprise package for the side in this World Cup with 14 wickets to his name. He picked up key wickets of Jason Holder, Sheldon Cottrell and Shimron Hetymer in the previous game.
Kane Williamson (captain), Tom Latham (wk), Ross Taylor, Colin Munro, Martin Guptill, Colin de Grandhomme, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Trent Boult.
Trent Boult, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Matt Henry, Mitchell Santner, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, KS Williamson, Lockie Ferguson, Ross Taylor, James Neesham
The side delivered a clinical performance with bat and ball to beat South Africa in a game at Lords on Sunday. Pakistan is certainly a dangerous side when everyone seems to write them off in a big competition. The side will be looking to play their best cricket with the bat and ball to end New Zealand’s winning streak at Lords on Wednesday.
The big positive from the previous game was Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman producing decent scores with the bat. The opening pair got the side off to an excellent start and added 81 runs in space of 14 overs. Zaman showed positive intent from the start and scored 44 off 50 balls with the help of six fours and a six. He was well supported by Imam, who chipped in with 44 off 58 balls. Pakistan will be hoping that the opening pair can deliver runs with the bat in their must-win clash against New Zealand.
Babar Azam chipped in with much-needed score for Pakistan in the previous game played against South Africa. He scored 69 off 80 balls with the help of seven boundaries to keep the scoreboard ticking for Pakistan. Azam added crucial partnerships with Mohammad Hafeez and Haris Sohail to help Pakistan post a competitive score on the board.
Haris Sohail, who replaced Shoaib Malik into the playing XI for this game delivered runs with the bat. Left-hander certainly produced scintillating innings for Pakistan and scored 89 off 59 balls with the help of nine fours and three sixes. Imad Wasim also chipped in with nice cameo at the end to see Pakistan post 308 for 7 after 50 overs.
In the bowling department, the side will be relying on the likes of Mohammad Amir and Shaheen Shah Afridi to deliver breakthroughs with the new-ball. Wahab Riaz was the standout bowler for the side and picked up three wickets against South Africa. Mohammad Amir has shown excellent form in this World Cup with 15 wickets to his name. Leg-spinner Shadab Khan also bowled well and picked up key wickets of Quinton de Kock and Rassie van der Dussen in the previous game.
Sarfaraz Ahmed (captain &wk), Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Hafeez, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Shaheen Shah Afridi.
Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, SI Wasim, Babar Azam, F Zaman, Haris Sohail, Sarfraz Ahmed, Shaheen Afridi, Wahab Riaz, Imam-ul-Haq
The wicket prepared will be excellent for batting. The quick bowlers will get some lateral movement off the surface with the new-ball. The weather forecast for Wednesday game is cloudy skies throughout the day.
New Zealand will have a slight advantage as they have already a game at Edgbaston Cricket Ground. Pakistan will take heart from the fact that they have an excellent head-to-head record against New Zealand. In their previous in a World Cup game in 2011, New Zealand registered a comprehensive win over Pakistan at Pallekele.
Both the teams will be looking to win the toss and bowl first on this surface. Batting will get easier in the second half of the game. The average score at Edgbaston is around 240 runs.
Pakistan will be favorites to win their game against New Zealand. The likes of Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, and Haris Sohail delivered runs with the bat against South Africa. Mohammad Amir has shown splendid form with the ball so far in this World Cup.
We feel that Pakistan have firepower in their batting and bowling to end New Zealand’s winning streak in the competition. Expect Pakistan to come out on top in this game.
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