Pakistan vs New Zealand: 3rd T20I, Preview- Sarfraz's men in sight of consecutive clean sweeps
The Black Caps have been a better opponent than Aaron Finch's men.
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Pakistan are the number one ranked T20I side and they have played like one in the last few months. After winning the triangular series in Zimbabwe, Sarfraz Ahmed and Co slapped Australia with a 3-0 clean sweep. The Men in Green are currently playing a three-match T20I series against Kane Williamson’s New Zealand and are leading the series 2-0.
Moreover, they are standing on the verge of their second consecutive whitewash. The home team also stands a chance of winning their 11th T20I series in a row under captain Sarfraz. The Black Caps have been a better opponent than Aaron Finch’s men and have made Pakistan sweat for their victories. However, the Kiwis tantalisingly fell short on both the instances.
Nevertheless, New Zealand can be proud of the way they’ve played. The third and final match is scheduled to be played tomorrow at Dubai International Cricket Stadium and its nothing but a dead rubber. The ODI series gets underway on Wednesday, November 7 and the visiting team can go into the series with a consolation with over their rampant opponents.
Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam are the opening batsmen followed by the experience of Mohammad Hafeez. Sarfraz is slotted to bat at number four with all-rounder Shoaib Malik to follow. Imad, Faheem, and Shadab lend depth to the batting. The trio will also be pivotal with the leather. Either of Usman Khan and Hasan Ali will play. Shaheen Shah Afridi may also be rested.
Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Asif Ali, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfraz Ahmed (C & wk), Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali/Usman Khan, Shaheen Afridi/Waqas Maqsood
Colin Munro remains to be their opener and either Glenn Phillips or Tim Siefert will be his partner. Kane Williamson will have a big role to play. Mark Chapman is slotted to come next. Ross Taylor adds the much-needed experience to the eleven. Corey Anderson and Grandhomme are the all-rounders. Milne and Ferguson are seamers with Sodhi and Patel being the spinners.
Colin Munro, Glenn Phillips/Tim Seifert (wk), Kane Williamson (C), Mark Chapman, Corey Anderson, Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme, Adam Milne, Lockie Ferguson, Ish Sodhi, Ajaz Patel
Focus will be on
Babar Azam- Pakistan
The Lahore-born cricketer has been in prime form of late, opening the batting. He doesn’t play the extravagant strokes, yet manages to score runs at a fair clip and help his team take advantage of the fielding restrictions. Even in the last match, he scored 40 to take Pakistan off to a healthy start. The Men in Green would be looking up to Azam for another substantial knock.
Ish Sodhi- New Zealand
The 26-year-old has been a prolific wicket-taker for the Kiwis in the shortest format. He is currently the third-ranked bowler in the shortest format. But he has only been able to pick up a solitary wicket in the two matches. The Ludhiana-born spinner has to be at his very best as New Zealand would desperately want to avoid a shambolic clean sweep in the UAE.
Head to Head
Matches – 20 | Pakistan won – 12 | New Zealand won – 8 | NR/Tie – 0
In the UAE
Matches – 6 | Pakistan won – 5 | New Zealand won – 1 | NR/Tie – 0
48– Runs Babar Azam needs in the next T20I inning to break Virat Kohli’s record of fastest to 1000 T20I runs.
1– Shadab Khan needs one more wicket to go past Saved Ajmal’s 25 wickets in 2012; the most by a Pakistan bowler in a T20I calendar year. He has taken 25 T20I wickets in 2018.
TV – Sony Six and Sony Six HD
Live Streaming – Sony LIV
Match Timings: 21:30 IST | 20:00 local