Unbeaten New Zealand (W5, NR1) take on a revitalised Pakistan team
(W2, L3, NR1) at Edgbaston on Wednesday. A win for the ‘Black Caps’
will all but book their semi-final ticket, while a loss for the ‘Men in
Green’ will almost certainly mean an early flight home.
The Black Caps come into this match on the back of a nail-biting five-
run win over the enigmatic Windies. A brilliant captain’s innings of 148
from Kane Williamson (his highest ODI score and 13th century in 144
matches) helped New Zealand to 291/8. They then bowled out the opposition for 286 with an over to spare, with Trent Boult returning excellent figures of 4/30.
Under Williamson, New Zealand play hard and fair as a unit. They are a
well-balanced side, strong in all three disciplines of the game.
Williamson is prominent in the top run scorer chart with 373, while
paceman Lockie Ferguson’s 14 wickets sees him fighting it out for the
leading wicket taker. Furthermore, Jimmy Neesham’s spell of 5/31
against Afghanistan was one of the best in the World Cup (WC) so far.
Pakistan come into this match having knocked South Africa out of the
competition with a rousing 49-run win on Sunday, down in part to
Haris Sohail’s hard-hitting 89 from 59 balls helping his team to 308/7.
Their bowling attack then restricted the Proteas to 259/9 in their
allotted 50 overs, with fine spells from Wahab Riaz (3/46) and Shadab
That win mathematically keeps them in the running for a place in the
semi-finals, but they’ll need to win the remainder of their matches and
hope for some losses from the teams above them.
After beating the Black Caps by six wickets in their last ODI contest
back in November last year, as well as leading the all-time H2H 54-48,
Pakistan may feel they have a chance in this crucial game for them.
Players to watch out for
Colin de Grandhomme (NZ) has smashed 50 of his 91 runs in boundaries at a SR of 137.87 to go with his valuable five wickets at 4.35 rpo.
Mohammad Amir (PAK) is on fire with his left arm swing bowling. He
has taken 15 wickets at just 14.60 apiece and at just 4.76 rpo.
Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed has won the toss 18 times (40%) in 45 matches. Kane Williamson has won the toss 32 times (45.07%) in 71 matches as captain.
Pakistan average 52.20 in their WC powerplays compared to New Zealand’s 51.40
Pakistan have smashed 24 sixes and 110 fours so far this WC, compared to New Zealand’s 14 and 105, respectively.