The undefeated New Zealand will face the most unpredictable side of this World Cup, Pakistan for Match 33 of the 2019 World Cup at Edgbaston on June 26. New Zealand already look set for the knock out whereas Pakistan have all the component to surprise everyone, yet again.
New Zealand have looked a complete and balanced side so far in the tournament. Ross Taylor provided necessary support to the magnificent Kane Williamson magnificent whenever required in the absence performance from the top order. Their three all-rounders – Jimmy Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, and Mitchell Santner have been consistently good. The bowlers have delivered to the potent with an inform Lockie Ferguson in side. But the concern is the Kiwis have mostly faced weaker teams till now with a match being washed out against India. Before they face Australia and England, the focus should be to clinch victory against Pakistan to secure the semi final spot.
With Mohammad Amir leading the pack, Pakistan bowlers can easily surprise top class batter. But the same bowling unit has conceded more that 300 runs in three occasions against England, Australia and India. Wahab Riaz, although has taken number of wickets, the supports have not been impactful enough. Pakistan depend a lot on their too order batters who need to set stage to win the match against the Kiwis. Pakistan have very less chance of qualifying to the semi final but the surprise element in them can any day shock all.
A repetition of 1992 World Cup between these two teams can change the entire equation of the tournament.
Head to head:
Total Matches- 106
New Zealand- 48
World Cup Matches- 8
New Zealand- 2
Lockie Ferguson (New Zealand): With 14 wickets at 15.50 and an economy rate of 4.76 Ferguson has been the most consistent wicket taker for New Zealand in this tournament . He will be a threat to Pakistan batting lineup that depends a lot on the top order.
Haris Sohail (Pakistan): Sohail was included in place of Shoaib Malik in the last match; and it surely felt like a decision made well albeit late. He has added the much needed balance and firepower to the Pakistan middle-order. His innings against South Africa kept the dream still alive for Pakistan.
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), Jimmy Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult.
Pakistan: Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Haris Sohail, Imad Wasim, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Wahab Riaz, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Shaheen Afridi.