With the series in the pocket, New Zealand will go all out for a clean sweep as they face Pakistan in the third T20.
Despite a sparkling knock of 99 from Mohammad Hafeez that propelled them to 163, Pakistan's bowlers let them down once again. Their new-ball bowlers, Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf were taken to the cleaners. Faheem Ashraf was solid as he took a wicket and gave away only 19 runs.
Tim Seifert played a match-winning knock of 84 while skipper, Kane Williamson announced his return with a rock-solid unbeaten 57.
Head to Head
Matches Played- 23, New Zealand- 10, Pakistan- 10
With two dominating wins in a row, the hosts can afford to include either Daryll Mitchell pr Todd Astle who have not yet played a game so far.
The visitors must rest the out for form, Wahab Riaz, and include Mohammad Hasnain or Muhammad Musa instead. It is puzzling why former captain, Sarfaraz Ahmed has not played a match yet. Abdullah Shafique has scored two ducks in a row and can be replaced with Iftikhar Ahmed or Hussain Talat.
Pitch and Conditions
The action shifts to McLean Park in Napier now. The weather is expected to be cloudy but rain-free. Showers are predicted before the start of the game. The batsmen can go for the big hits as there are short boundaries. Anything above 190 would be considered as a par score. The team defending has won 8 times in 13 matches played at this venue.
Probable Playing XI
New Zealand (NZ): Martin Guptill, Tim Seifert (wk), Kane Williamson (c), Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, James Neesham/Daryll Mitchell, Kyle Jamieson, Scott Kuggeleijn, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi/Todd Astle, Trent Boult
Pakistan (Pak): Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Haider Ali, Abdullah Shafique/ Sarfaraz Ahmed, Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan (c), Khushdil Shah/Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Faheem Ashraf, Wahab Riaz/Mohammad Hasnain, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf
Tim Seifert (NZ) vs Faheem Ashraf (Pak)
Seifert has been the star of this series scoring 141 runs in two matches. He packs a punch while playing his wide array of shots and you can nickname him as pint-sized dynamite. He is a very good T20 player and can play long innings when needed.
Ashraf controlled the run flow with his clever variations in the previous game. The talented all-rounder holds the record of becoming the first Pakistani bowler to take a hat-trick in T20Is when he did it against Sri Lanka in October 2017. He bowls a consistent line and length and does not give the batsmen much room to play their shots freely.
Tim Southee (NZ) vs Mohammad Rizwan (Pak)
Rizwan scored 22 runs opening the batting in the last match. The highly-rated wicket-keeper is great to watch when he is in full flow. He has attacking stroke-play. He has to keep the consistent knocks coming to become a mainstay of the team in the shortest format of the game.
Southee picked four wickets in the previous match including that of Rizwan and was rightfully adjudged the man of the match award for his heroics with the ball. He put his deliveries in the right areas and made full use of the swing offered. Variations in his pace and reverse swing are his main weapons. He can readjust his line and length with aplomb.
Pakistan will look to salvage some pride as they aim to win at least one match on the tour. New Zealand will aim to keep their unbeaten record in the summer intact as they target a whitewash.
Cricwizz predicts New Zealand to win the match and the series 3-0.