New Zealand will lock horns against Pakistan in the 35th match of the ongoing World Cup at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru on Saturday. As the race for the semifinals is getting intense with only three spots remaining, both these two teams will want to pull themselves.
New Zealand, who won their opening four matches, have veered off the track as they have lost the last three games on the bounce. The injuries have certainly hurt the Kiwis, especially of their full-time skipper Kane Williamson and they will need to turn the tables.
The Blackcaps were hammered by a huge margin of 190 runs against South Africa, which also took a toll on their NRR. Pakistan, on the other hand, had won their previous match against Bangladesh by a healthy margin of seven wickets and thus they have kept themselves in the semifinal race.
Shaheen Shah Afridi continued to impress as he once again got early wickets. Afridi bagged three wickets against the Tigers whereas Mohammad Wasim Jr also picked up three scalps.
Furthermore, the return of form for Fakhar Zaman is also a huge positive for Pakistan and he would aim to continue the good show against the Kiwis. Zaman scored an attacking knock of 81 while Abdullah Shafique scored another impressive knock of 68 runs.
Match Prediction: New Zealand will enter the contest as favorites against Pakistan.
New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitch Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Will Young.
Pakistan squad: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Ali Agha, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim.