Preview of the third Twenty20 between Pakistan and New Zealand

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Michael Phelps

Cricket News
  • Preview of the third Twenty20 between Pakistan and New Zealand

Preview of the third Twenty20 between Pakistan and New Zealand

The third Twenty20 between Pakistan and New Zealand will be played on Thursday in Christchurch. Pakistan would not be that excited by the third Twenty20 as they have already lost the series and a win would not give them the series back. There were speculations that Pakistan might bounce back into the series with a convincing victory in the second Twenty20, but again history proved right as Pakistan were beaten by 39 runs in the second Twenty20.

In the second Twenty20, New Zealand again showed their complete dominance over the Pakistani fast bowlers and played a lot of professional cricket to score 185 in their innings. Batting is one area which New Zealand has got completely covered for the third Twenty20, as almost all their batsmen batted well during the second twenty20. New Zealand batsmen made quick runs of the Pakistani bowlers in the second Twenty20, and this is one factor which New Zealand will take advantage of in the third Twenty20. MJ Guptill was among the run getters in Hamilton and played well for his 54. He would have a good chance of scoring a hundred in the third twenty20 as he has seen the bowling options of Pakistan, and he would have the perfect license to cut free and score some quick runs for his side.

New Zealand should stick with James Franklin at number 3 position in the batting order as he showed a lot of class in the second Twenty20 and played well for his 40. He played with a lot of responsibility in the second Twenty20, and this temperament would help him for the third Twenty20 as well.  Almost all their batsmen fired in the second Twenty20 and most of them are in good touch to play a quick knock in the third Twenty20 as well. P McGlasahan should be promoted up the order as he played a master innings of 26 runs of just 10 balls in Hamilton.

In the bowling department, New Zealand would be quiet hopeful as almost all their bowlers have bowled well in the last two matches, and have successfully troubled the vulnerable Pakistani batting lineup. Tim Southee again bowled well in Hamilton and showed a lot of control in his bowling. He took two wickets in the second Twenty20 and if he can continue his good form than he would be quite handy in dismissing the top batsmen of Pakistan in the third Twenty20.

 Nathan McCullum was quiet handy in the second Twenty20 and his four wickets came at the right time for the New Zealand. His bowling would be quite handy for the Kiwis in controlling the runs flow of Pakistani batsmen in the middle over’s. Kyle Mills is one bowler who has bowled well in the series, but he has also been a bit expensive in his spells. If he can cover that factor than New Zealand bowling lineup would almost become perfect.

Pakistan have nothing to lose in the third Twenty20 and they would be playing for pride in the third Twenty20. In the second twenty20, Pakistani batting failed miserably and almost all their batsmen failed to live up to the expectations. Pakistani batsmen would have to take a bit of responsibility on their shoulders in the third Twenty20 and must perform with a clear perspective in their mind.

Almost all the batsmen have failed to deliver in the two twenty20 matches and have been dismissed while playing rash shots. Umar Akaml (26), Shahid Afridi (7) and Ajmal Shaahzad all got starts in the second Twenty20 but they were not able to convert these starts into competitive totals. If these players can cross the initial phase in their start than they can easily convert their starts into huge innings. Mohammad Hafeez is one batsman, who has played the New Zealand bowlers well in the series. His 46 at Hamilton was a benchmark for the other batsmen as he struck a lot of boundaries and scored whenever he got the opportunity. If other batsmen can give Hafeez a good support in Christchurch, than Pakistan has a good chance of accelerating their total at the depth over’s.

Bowling is one area which also needs a lot of improvement for Pakistan, as all their fast bowlers have been punished by the Kiwi batsmen in the series. Umar Gul was too expensive in Hamilton and did not bowl in the right areas in his spells. Shoaib Akhtar was also not impressive in his spell, but he has this tendency of picking important wickets for his side and if he can pick early wickets for Pakistan in Christchurch than Pakistan can restrict New Zealand to a low total. Spin is one area which has delivered for Pakistan as Saeed Ajmal and Afridi have bowled better than the fast bowlers’ in the series. Spinners can make things difficult for New Zealand in the Third Twenty20.

Overall, New Zealand side has a lot of momentum with them and on paper they are still the favorites to win the third Twenty20.  


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