It is always a thrill to see a healthy rivalry between two evenly-matched teams in an ODI. A similar thrill will be visible during the meet-up of New Zealand and Pakistan in match number 35 of the ODI World Cup on Saturday at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.
New Zealand is currently at the third spot in the point table with 4 wins and a net run rate of +0.970. After two consecutive losses, the Kiwis will be hoping for a revival and getting their performance back on track in the upcoming fixture.
After 4 consecutive losses, Pakistan is back to winning ways and now they are on 5th spot in the point table with a net run rate of -0.024. The top bookmakers in India have amazing World Cup Odds with them.
Pakistan pacers have the ability to swing the ball both ways and there is a chance that Afridi can scalp the first New Zealand batter through LBW.
The betting tip is...
First dismissal to be LBW
Two major losses against India and Australia respectively have hurt the rhythm of the Kiwis in the ongoing tournament. However, a win against Pakistan will boost their confidence for the remainder of the fixtures and the semi-finals.
Devon Conway and Will Young will be opening the game and Rahcin Ravindra will be eyeing for another brilliant performance at number 3. He is currently the third-highest scorer in the tournament with 406 runs in 6 fixtures at an average of 81.20.
Daryl Mitchell and Glenn Phillips should build a partnership in the middle order to get the team in a better position in the match. Skipper Top Latham has been a failure against Australia and India but he needs to play a valuable inning in the upcoming fixture.
Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, and Matt Henry should scalp some wickets at the early stage of the game to make things easier for the team during the middle overs. Glenn Phillips & Rachin Ravindra will be valuable with their spin variations.
Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, and Rachin Ravindra are the key players for New Zealand.
Predicted Lineup: Tom Latham (c & wk), Devon Conway, Will Young, Rachin Ravindra, Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult
Men in Green are in desperate need of a win to make sure they qualify for the semi-finals. A win against Bangladesh will provide the much-needed confidence to the team.
Bowling first, Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Wasim Jr. did a brilliant job with the ball and picked up 3 wickets each at an economy of 2.56 and 3.80 respectively. Haris Rauf also picked up 2 wickets at an economy of 4.50.
On the batting front, it was an easy win for the team but skipper Babar Azam’s (9 off 16) early departure was the major disappointment. Abdullah Shafique (68 off 69) & Fakhar Zaman (81 off 74) gave a solid start to the team at the top order. Mohammad Rizwan (26 off 21) and Iftikhar Ahmed (17 off 15) continued the completed the chase.
Shaheen Afridi will be a key player for Pakistan against New Zealand. M. Chinnaswamy is known for its inclination for the pace attack and Afridi will get the benefit for the same. He is currently the second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 16 wickets in 7 matches at an economy of 6.22.
Pakistan made two major changes in the last fixture by picking up Mohammad Wasim Jr. and keeping Imam-ul-Haq on the bench.
There is still no update on Shadab Khan’s injury and hence we expect the same combination against New Zealand as well.
Predicted Lineup: Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Agha Salman, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim Jr
Pakistan will be eying another win and they won’t allow Kiwis to dominate the game. However, their performance has been inconsistent in the recent matches where the struggles were visible in the middle order and the bowling unit.
New Zealand looks like a well-balanced team with high morale and players performing on the right path. We predict a win for New Zealand on Saturday.