Cricket One Day International Prediction
Pakistan vs New Zealand - Match Preview
🏏 3 May 2023 - 14:30 GMT +0
A little bit of history was created and some were repeated in Rawalpindi when Pakistan completed their second-largest ever ODI run chase after a second consecutive match in which Fakhar Zaman and Daryl Mitchell led the way with three-figure top scores only for Fakhar’s score to be the game-winning century yet again. But after they squibbed a 2-0 lead in the recent T20I series to finish with a 2-2 drawn series, the hosts should be vigilant to not let complacency creep in against New Zealand.
In addition to the motivation of wanting to avenge a 2-1 home series loss to New Zealand in January 2023, there are also rankings repercussions for both teams - albeit entirely inconsequential and academic - to come out of the series to be decided in Karachi. Currently, in fifth place on the ICC rankings, Pakistan could climb to as high as third place with a 5-0 clean sweep of the number one-ranked tourists. Anything worse than a 3-2 series loss would see New Zealand fall from the top of the tree to be overtaken by Australia, whilst a 5-0 loss would even see them drop below Pakistan to fifth.
On both occasions in this current series, Pakistan chose to field first and completed a run chase in the 49th over. That, rather than the official winning margins (five wickets and seven wickets), illustrates just how close the two ODIs so far have been. Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan are working their way into some imperious form yet again, with Babar following up his first ODI 49 with a 65 and Rizwan piling on 194 runs without being dismissed in his last three international innings.
New Zealand’s batters were this time able to get on top of a couple of Pakistan bowlers in the second game, picking apart Haris Rauf and the inexperienced Ihsanullah, but the spin pair of Ish Sodhi and Rachin Ravindra was especially disappointing. The Blackcaps could do with some improvements in the first ten overs, where they have been outscored in both matches (5.10rpo to 5.65rpo) despite losing just one powerplay wicket on each occasion.
It would have been particularly encouraging to see Chad Bowes and Tom Latham post-half-centuries after Will Young joined Daryl Mitchell amongst the runs, meaning that each member of New Zealand’s top four has at least one 50+ score to their name in the ODI series so far. The missing link is a middle-order batter being able to go on with it in the death overs, and it has been surprising to see Mark Chapman - the Player of the Series in the T20Is - unable to do so.
⚡ Key battle: After Mark Chapman carted Haris Rauf around for 56 runs from 37 balls without a single dismissal in the T20I series, it came as quite a surprise to see Rauf bounce back with two wickets from four balls in the ODIs so far. If this domination continues, New Zealand’s middle order will be lacking. After taking six wickets across the two games in Rawalpindi, Rauf has a score to settle with Karachi, where he accrued series figures of 1/142 from 25 overs in January.
📋 Stat attack: Pakistan recorded the highest opening partnership in nine of their last ten home ODIs.
- New Zealand struck the most sixes in just one of their five ODIs away from Pakistan this year.
- Just one of the five ODIs played in Karachi since the start of 2019 produced a score of 300+ runs.
- Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Rizwan recorded two 50+ scores each from the three ODIs between these nations in Karachi earlier this year.
- Naseem Shah returned figures of 5/57 and 3/58 from his two ODIs in Karachi in that series.
- James Neesham has taken just one wicket across his last seven away ODIs, bowling 46 overs for 1/289 (6.28rpo).
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