The 2nd match of the 3-match T20I series between New Zealand and Pakistan is scheduled to take place on Sunday at the Seddon Park in Hamilton. The Kiwis will go into the match with a one-match lead, which means the visitors will be in a do-or-die situation.
The proceedings will only get tougher for the Pakistanis as the key Kiwi players are back for this encounter. The likes of skipper Kane Willamson, Spearhead Trent Boult, and Tim Southee are expected to put the visitors on the backfoot.
The opening match of the series saw the Kiwis run through the top order of the visitors, courtesy of a brilliant bowling performance by the debutant Jacob Duffy. The middle-order though along with the bold innings of their skipper Shadad Khan ensured they got to a decent total of 153.
The kiwis in reply did have a shaky start as they were reduced 21 for the loss of 2 wickets. But a clinical fifty from the bat for Tim Seifert combined with cameos from Mark Chapman and James Neesham made sure that the kiwis took a 1-0 lead in the 3-match series.
Pakistan is clearly missing their skipper Babar Azam. His experience and consistency at the top is none to the current openers in the team and once again the inexperienced top-order could fumble in the pace attack of Boult and Southee.
Can Pakistan bounce back and level the series? Or will the Kiwis wrap the series in their favor?
Match Toss Time: 18:30 Local (11:00 IST)
Match Start Time: 19:00 Local (11:30 IST)
Match Venue: Seddon Park, Hamilton
The conditions in Hamilton are quite in favor of cricket. There could be occasional clouding but nothing that threatens play. The temperature is expected to be hovering in the 24-19 degrees Celsius range and the humidity at the peak is likely to touch the 59 percent mark.
The pitch in Seddon Park is usually in favor of the batsmen and it is expected to behave the same way for this encounter. The overcast conditions could offer the fast bowlers a bit of movement but overall the runs are expected to be easy to come by. The team batting first should be looking to score above the 180 mark.
New Zealand will be a revamped team as their key players return to the side. Though the youngsters led by Mitchell Santner did a brilliant job to take a 1-0 lead, it is time now for the seniors to step it up. With Kane Willaimson back into the side, the captaincy will be handed over to him by Santner.
The Black Caps would be happy with the way debutant Jacob Duffy played but the pacer is not part of the squad for the 2nd and 3rd T20I but he is sure to be in the contention of the upcoming games.
Pakistan on the other side clearly exposed their fragility in the top-order and seems to be missing their skipper Babar Azam. Said that the lower middle-order did put up a fight and the bowling was on point too. They would be hoping that the players step on the gas this time and take the series to a decider.
With Wahab Riaz not getting his line and length right and clearly showing his lack of form, Pacer Mohammad Hasnain is likely to replace him in the side.
Probable Playing Xl
New Zealand (NZ): Martin Guptill, Tim Seifert (WK), Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, Kane Williamson (C), James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Scott Kuggelejin, Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson/ Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult
Pakistan (Pak): Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Abdullah Shafique, Haider Ali, Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan (c), Khushdil Shah, Imad Wasim, Faheem Ashraf, Wahab Riaz/ Mohammad Hasnain, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf
NZ vs Pak Fantasy Team
Glenn Phillips, Tim Seifert, Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill, Haider Ali, Scott Kuggeleijn, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Trent Boult, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi
Captain Picks: Tim Seifert (NZ), Shadab Khan (Pak)
Vice-captain Picks: Scott Kuggeleijn (NZ), Martin Guptill (NZ)
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