Cricket Twenty20 International Prediction
Pakistan vs New Zealand - Match Preview
🏏 24 April 2023 - 20:00 GMT +0
An unseasonal April hailstorm cruelly denied New Zealand the opportunity of a magical come-from-behind series win, but on the flip side, the denizens of Rawalpindi will get to see Pakistan forced to fight to secure a much-needed home series win after failures against England (3-4) and Australia (0-1) in 2022. Fortunately, this time the weather is not expected to get in the way of what should be a fascinating denouement to the 20-over leg of this mammoth white ball tour.
Following the announcement of Pakistan’s ODI squad for Thursday’s fourth T20I in Rawalpindi, this will be the final chance for the likes of Saim Ayub, Iftikhar Ahmed and Imad Wasim to impress selectors for quite some time, with their next T20I series not currently scheduled until February 2024 (at home to the West Indies). The latter was simply brilliant in the first half of New Zealand’s batting innings on Thursday, picking off the first three wickets within seven overs on a pitch that Blackcaps captain Tom Latham described as “a belter”. Wasim was rewarded handsomely for the pressure that he built with 11 dot balls (including the wickets) from his four overs and now comes into this fifth and final game as the equal-second leading wicket-taker of the series with six.
It has been a particularly disappointing series for many of Pakistan’s senior batters, who will all be relishing the opportunity to go out with a bang. Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Rizwan and Ayub are all averaging fewer than 25 runs per wicket, and for Fakhar he’s going to have to put behind him a run of three straight scores of under 25 in Rawalpindi T20Is to make a sizable contribution here.
Nobody will ever know how New Zealand’s score of 164/5 from 18.5 overs stacked up at a stadium that had a run rate of 10.3 from 11 matches in this year’s Pakistan Super League T20 tournament, but there were nonetheless two positives to take away from their innings. 30yo opener Chad Bowes broke through for his inaugural T20I half-century on his seventh attempt after threatening to do so on two previous occasions, whilst Mark Chapman is making a seriously notable play to be considered in New Zealand’s best T20I XI for their white-ball tour of England in September when several IPL contracted players will be available.
Former Hong Kong international Chapman has now remained not out in three consecutive knocks, responsible for his series-high haul of 186 runs (average: 186.00), but most impressively of all his series strike rate of 157.62 is second only to Iftikhar Ahmed for players with at least 50 runs to their name. Chapman has now recorded New Zealand’s top score three times in this four-game series and has dined out on the bowling of Shadab Khan (1/51 from 29 balls) and Faheem Ashraf (0/26 from 14) in particular.
⚡ Players to watch: Haris Rauf was kept comparatively quiet with a single wicket in the previous match, but with almost twice as many series wickets (11) as any other bowler, he still stands out as Pakistan’s strike bowler.
Daryl Mitchell made a name for himself on Asian pitches at the 2021 T20 World Cup and, despite emerging as one of the in-form batters in Test cricket, has really struggled in this series with three scores of fewer than 15 runs.
📋 Stat attack: New Zealand’s last three opening partnerships were all worth at least 20 runs each.
- Pakistan have accrued at least six sixes in all three of their series innings.
- Haris Rauf has dismissed Rachin Ravindra and Jimmy Neesham three times each in this series at respective H2H averages of 1.00 (3/3 from nine balls) and 5.33 (3/16 from 11 balls).
- Will Young was dismissed for fewer than 25 runs in eight of his nine T20I innings in Asia.
- Adam Milne to Babar Azam in T20Is: 3/9 from 12 balls.
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