LIVE Pakistan Vs New Zealand – T20 International Cricket

LIVE: Pakistan vs New Zealand – T20 international Cricket

The highly anticipated five-match T20 International series between Pakistan and New Zealand kicks off today, April 18th, 2024, at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium in Pakistan. This clash serves as a crucial warm-up for both teams leading into the T20 World Cup scheduled for June in the United States and the Caribbean.

Revenge on the Menu for Pakistan?

Pakistan will be looking to settle the score with New Zealand after their defeat in the five-match series hosted by the Kiwis earlier this year. New Zealand dominated the series, winning four out of five matches. However, Pakistan managed to salvage some pride with a convincing 42-run victory in the final encounter, where New Zealand fielded a weakened team.

Babar Azam’s men will be eager to prove their mettle on home soil and translate their passionate home support into on-field success. The Rawalpindi pitch is known for being batting-friendly, which could favor Pakistan’s star-studded batting lineup featuring the likes of Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Fakhar Zaman.

New Zealand Look to Maintain Momentum

Despite missing some key players in the final match of the previous series, New Zealand will be confident heading into this encounter. Captain Kane Williamson is not part of the touring squad, but the side boasts a well-balanced unit with experienced campaigners like Tim Seifert, Martin Guptill (if selected), and Jimmy Neesham.

The bowling attack, spearheaded by the wily Ish Sodhi and the express pace of Lockie Ferguson (if selected), will be crucial in restricting Pakistan’s high-scoring batting line-up. New Zealand will be keen to maintain their winning momentum and test their strategies before the World Cup.

A Look at the Teams:

Pakistan: Shaheen Afridi (c), Babar Azam , Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Saim Ayub, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Usman KhanHaris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Amir, Irfan Khan, Abrar Ahmed.

New Zealand: Tim Seifert (wk), Martin Guptill, Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, Michael Bracewell (c), Daryl Mitchell, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson (doubtful), Adam Milne, Blair Tickner

Key Players to Watch:

  • Babar Azam (Pakistan): The world’s number one ranked T20 batsman Babar Azam form will be crucial for Pakistan’s success.
  • Shaheen Afridi (Pakistan): The young pace sensation will be looking to dismantle New Zealand’s batting order with his searing pace.
  • Tim Seifert (New Zealand): The explosive wicket-keeper batsman can single-handedly change the course of the match with his aggressive batting.
  • Trent Boult (New Zealand) (if selected): The left-arm pacer’s swing bowling could be a major threat to Pakistan’s top order.

For Pakistan, the return of Mohammad Amir and Imad Wasim added experience and depth to their squad. Amir’s ability to swing the ball and Wasim’s all-round capabilities were expected to play a crucial role in the team’s strategy2.

Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir made his return to the national team after more than three-and-a-half-year break.

Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir made his return to the national team after more than three-and-a-half-year break.

The series was also a test of leadership, with Babar Azam back at the helm for Pakistan after a period of instability within the Pakistan Cricket Board. His focus on team unity and putting Pakistan’s name up in lights was a rallying cry for his players2.

As the series progresses, fans will be hoping for uninterrupted play and a chance to witness the thrilling cricket that T20 internationals are known for. The stage is set, the players are ready, and the world watches with bated breath as Pakistan and New Zealand battle it out in this electrifying cricketing encounter.

Match Prediction:

This promises to be a closely contested series. Pakistan will be high on motivation playing at home, while New Zealand will be determined to continue their winning ways. The outcome could hinge on which team adapts better to the pitch conditions and executes their plans more effectively.

Stay tuned for all the action from the first T20I between Pakistan and New Zealand!

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