Cricket One Day International Prediction
Pakistan vs New Zealand - Match Preview
🏏 29 April 2023 - 14:30 GMT +0
After a T20I series that went the distance of being shared, it was only fitting that the first ODI between Pakistan and New Zealand would be just as tense and just as thrilling. The top orders of both teams engaged in a run-a-ball shootout for almost the entirety of the match, but in the end, no New Zealand bowler could come close to matching the feats of Pakistan quick Naseem Shah (2/29 from ten overs), whose economy rate was almost twice as miserly as any other bowler.
It was a long time waiting for the Rawalpindi crowd, more than 18 months after New Zealand abruptly cancelled an ODI series at the last minute due to security concerns. Pakistan’s first ODI win took their record in Rawalpindi to 3-1 since the start of 2020, with the sole defeat coming via a Super Over against Zimbabwe. Three of those four matches produced first innings scores of at least 278 runs, so there should be some modestly healthy run-scoring for the final game of the Rawalpindi leg before the teams move to Karachi.
Fakhar Zaman picked up precisely where he left off in January, following up his 101 in the final game of the previous series (Karachi) with a scintillating 117 that had his captain celebrating rapturously as part of a “great” partnership of 90 runs from 14 overs. That was the second time in his 66-game career that Fakhar strung together back-to-back 100s, whilst his opening partner Imam-ul-Haq will be hoping to build something just as imposing. Imam’s score of 60 ended a run of four consecutive scores of 11 or less, which coincidentally came after seven straight innings of 50 or better across 2021 and 2022.
New Zealand came into this series as rank outsiders with several walk-up starters plying their trade in the IPL but was nonetheless admirable in a narrow defeat. That was their fourth straight ODI loss (all in Asia) since conquering Pakistan 2-1 in January with a full-strength side, and there was little to cheer about from a bowling perspective with Matt Henry (0/45 from ten overs) the most economical of six bowlers used. Taking just one wicket in the first 35 overs of the run chase ensured that, when the wickets became a little more frequent beyond that point, the damage was already done.
Mark Chapman was fast-tracked into the ODI side after missing the initial squad completely but was unable to immediately continue the batting efforts that won him the Player of the Series in the T20I leg. Chapman has been dismissed for 15 runs or less in five of his six ODIs for New Zealand (with the other returning 101no against Scotland) and therefore still has plenty to prove in this format before being considered a potential selection for the upcoming World Cup. After threatening twice with the bat in the January series, Daryl Mitchell (113) broke through for his first century in the format in two years and took an enormous step towards making the number three position his own for the World Cup, which captain Kane Williamson is almost certain to miss with an ACL injury.
⚡ Key battle: In the first over of his third spell in the previous game, Shaheen Shah Afridi dismissed Tom Latham for the third time in ODIs, taking his H2H career figures to 3/9 from 26 balls bowled. Whilst Shaheen was expensive overall, he kept his average of two wickets per innings in home ODIs going.
📋 Stat attack: Pakistan has recorded the highest opening partnership in six of the last seven H2Hs.
- Those four games have produced an average of 7.25 total match sixes.
- From his 11 ODI innings, New Zealand’s Will Young has two centuries, two fifties, and five single-digit scores.
- Naseem Shah has taken at least two wickets in all six of his career ODIs.
- Ish Sodhi collected exactly one wicket in six of his nine ODIs in Asia.
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