New Zealand v Pakistan, Cricket World Cup Preview

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Wednesday’s action in the Cricket World Cup comes from Edgbaston, Birmingham where unbeaten New Zealand clash with Pakistan.

New Zealand:

New Zealand kept their unbeaten record in tact against West Indies in Manchester on Saturday but it was a close call as they held on for a 5 run victory. The Black Caps were asked to bat first and both openers, Guptill and Munro, were removed in the first over from the first balls they faced. Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor made steady progress until Taylor went for 69. Williamson then began to accelerate and went on to make 148 as New Zealand’s innings closed on 291/8.

In the chase West Indies were 164/7 at one stage and it looked like game over but a century from Brathwaite put West Indies in touching distance of victory only for their final wicket to fall off the last ball of the 49th over.  Trent Boult’s figures of 4/30 were by far his best of the tournament so far and Lockie Ferguson claimed 3 more wickets.

New Zealand now have an overall record of 5 wins and 1 no result. In earlier games they beat Sri Lanka by 10 wickets, Bangladesh by 2 wickets, Afghanistan by 7 wickets and South Africa by 4 wickets whilst a scheduled meeting with India was completely washed out.

Kane Williamson is top run scorer for New Zealand with 373, Ross Taylor has 200 and Martin Guptill has 133. With the ball Lockie Ferguson has taken 14 wickets, Trent Boult and Matt Henry have 8 and James Neesham has 7.

This was how New Zealand lined up against West Indies last time out.

Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (capt), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult

Pakistan:

Pakistan were in action against South Africa at Lords on Sunday and they won by 49 runs, a second win of the tournament to go alongside 3 defeats and 1 no result. If they win this game and follow up with victory in their last 2 matches against Bangladesh and Afghanistan they will have 11 points which could yet be enough to reach the semi finals if results of rival teams go their way.

Haris Sohail top scored with 89 and Babar Azam made 69 against South Africa as Pakistan posted 308/7. Wahab Riaz and Shadab Khan both took 3 wickets and Amir another 2 as the Proteas chase ended on 259/9.

In earlier results Pakistan lost to West Indies by 7 wickets but then turned England over by 14 runs. A clash with Sri Lanka was completely washed out before they went down to Australia by 41 runs and India by 89 runs (DLS).

Babar Azam is leading run scorer for Pakistan with 232 runs, Mohammad Hafeez has a total of 175 and Fakhar Zaman has made 164. Mohammad Amir is leading wicket taker with 15 and Wahab Riaz has 8.

This was how Pakistan lined up against South Africa

Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfraz Ahmed (capt & wk), Harris Sohail, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir

Head to Head

The teams have met 106 times with New Zealand winning 48, Pakistan have won 54 with 1 tie and 3 no results.

At the start of 2018 in New Zealand the Black Caps completed a 5-0 clean sweep of Pakistan. In November last year a 3 match series in the UAE was drawn 1-1 with 1 math washed out.

The Betting, Click here for all markets

New Zealand 4/7

Pakistan 29/20

Note prices quoted are correct at the time of publication but are subject to change.

Verdict:

Pakistan are still in the mix for a semi final place but this is a must win game for them and it could develop into a thriller. New Zealand have done very little wrong but they are very reliant on Kane Williamson in terms of their batting and his wicket will be crucial for Pakistan.

It’s a big ask but Pakistan might be worth a speculative play to win the game.

Suggested Bets:

Pakistan to win at 29/20

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