Five match one-day international series comes to an end with fifth and last match which takes place in Wellington on Friday. The home side New Zealand’s domination at home continues as they lead the series 4-0 and will look to conclude it with the whitewash. Pakistan in desperate position to avoid clean sweep, for that the visitors must win this game. Fifth ODI between New Zealand vs Pakistan scheduled to start at 11 AM Local | 3:30 AM IST on Friday, 19th January 2018.
NEW ZEALAND :
The dominating New Zealand team won all 4 ODIs so far in the series and keeps their winning streak in this home season. After winning first three matches with ease, Kane Williamson led-side had faced bit of struggle in the last game, but the heroics of Colin de Grandhomme took the team home with 5 wickets victory. Black Caps has made one change in the last game, thrown out Todd Astle for the all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme. There will be at least one forced change in New Zealand playing XI for this last game. The premium pace bowler Trent Boult has been rested for the fifth ODI and Seth Rance added to the squad for this game. After two poor outings, Colin Munro back into hit-mode in the last game and scored quickfire 56 off 42 balls. His opening partner Guptill was bit slow with his batting approach but managed to score useful 31 runs in the last game. Both of these New Zealand openers are key and will play an important role in this last game of the series.
Skipper Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor will continue to bat at no.3 and 4 for Black Caps. Williamson has already scored a century and half-century in the series, he started off well once again in the last game but dismissed for 32 runs. Ross Taylor has played his 200th ODI match on other day, unfortunately, he dismissed for very rare single-digit score in that game. The experienced Taylor will be back with a good knock and no wonder if he comes with big hundred in this game. Wicket-keeper batsman Tom Latham had one good outing out of 4 matches in the series. He thrown out his wicket at very crucial moment in the last game. Hopes for some improved performances from him in this game. Batsman at no. 6 position, Henry Nicholls had an opportunity to showcase his batting talent and he came with an useful hand of 52 runs off 70 balls. Based on Nicholls’ batting position, it’s bit difficult to predict what he going to offer. But, whenever opportunities comes in his way, he utilizes it.
The scintillating knock of Colin de Grandhomme brought back the home side from verge of losing to win another game. Grandhomme played an explosive innings and scored 70 off just 40 balls with 7 fours and 5 sixes. He didn’t shine much with a bowl that day, but compensated it with his batting power. He may play another crucial role in this game too. Mitchell Santner will take care of spin department once again and has a chance to bowl an economical spell with multiple wickets. Tim Southee and Lockie Ferguson will keep their places in the team. Tim Southee is a major threat for Pakistan in this series and he added three more wickets to his tally in the last game. On the absence of Boult, either Seth Rance or Matt Henry will get a game. If Rance play, he will make a debut in ODIs. Also, some chances for Todd Astle to be back in the XI to strengthen spin department.
At last, Pakistan had some opportunity to register first win on the tour in the last match. The young Shadab Khan created an opportunity with his amazing spell, but De Grandhomme’s firepower innings shut the door for Pakistan other day. For the first time on the tour, four Pakistani batsmen had scored half-century each in same innings. Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail and skipper Sarfraz had scored half-centuries while the experienced Mohammad Hafeez took the team to decent total of 262 runs with his 81 runs knock. Haris Sohail replaced Azhar Ali in the XI other day. For a surprise, Pakistan promoted Faheem Ashraf in the batting order and sent him to open the innings along with Fakhar Zaman. Ashraf had a poor day with both bat and bowl in that game. First he dismissed for 1 run and then remained wicket-less in his 6 overs quota. Fakhar Zaman notched up his second half-century in the series but unfortunately he dismissed very soon after reached his half-century. Zaman is the consistent performer and he may come with another good batting innings in this last game.
Babar Azam’s horrible tour continued when he dismissed for just 3 runs in the last game. He had scored only 21 runs in 4 innings in the series. Azam’s poor run may make his place doubtful, but as Shoaib Malik injured the head during the 4th match some sort of chances for him to rested for this game. That will help Azam to keep his place safe in the XI. Haris Sohail justified his selection to the XI with an impressive 50 runs knock. That good batting performances will give him an one more opportunity to showcase his talents in this last game of the series. As Malik’s place under scrutiny, either Azhar Ali or Imam-ul-Haq will replaces him once he declares unfit to play. It was Mohammad Hafeez’s 2nd half-century on the tour, he smashed very useful 81 runs off 80 balls which includes 22 runs from the last over of the innings bowled by Boult. Hafeez has a big role to play once again to avoid whitewash. Captain Sarfraz Ahmed had finally played some responsible innings and scored much needed half-century in end stage of the innings. He needs to play much better innings in this game to win first game on the tour.
Leg-spinner Shadab Khan brought back Pakistan into the game by taking 3 quick wickets. He finished 3 for 42 in 10 overs spell, hopes for him to play well with both bat and bowl in this game. After shown several good performances, Hasan Ali had one poor outing in the last game. He was the most expensive bowler of Pakistan in that 4th match on Tuesday. Hasan who performed well not only with a bowl, also with a bat, will come with an improved performances on Friday. Mohammad had an one more wicket-less game on Tuesday. It will be very important game for him to keep his place in the XI. Rumman Raees was very impressive in the 3rd match and he claimed 3 wickets in that game. But he bowled an average spell of 1 for 59 off 9 overs in the last game. As a series already gone out of hands, Pakistan may look to check their bench strength. In that case, Aamer Yamin will come into the XI by replacing either Faheem Ashraf or Rumman Raees.
KEY PLAYERS :
NEW ZEALAND :
- Colin Munro
- Kane Williamson
- Ross Taylor
- Colin de Grandhomme
- Mitchell Santner
- Tim Southee
- Lockie Ferguson
- Fakhar Zaman
- Babar Azam
- Mohammad Hafeez
- Sarfraz Ahmed
- Shadab Khan
- Hasan Ali
- Mohammad Amir
POSSIBLE LINEUPS :
NEW ZEALAND :
1. Martin Guptill, 2. Colin Munro, 3. Kane Williamson, 4. Ross Taylor, 5. Tom Latham, 6. Henry Nicholls, 7. Colin de Grandhomme, 8. Mitchell Santner, 9. Tim Southee, 10. Lockie Ferguson, 11. Seth Rance / Todd Astle.
1. Fakhar Zaman, 2. Azhar Ali / Imam-ul-Haq, 3. Babar Azam, 4. Mohammad Hafeez, 5. Haris Sohail, 6. Sarfraz Ahmed, 7. Faheem Ashraf / Aamer Yamin, 8. Shadab Khan, 9. Hasan Ali, 10. Mohammad Amir, 11. Rumman Raees.
Cricket is what everyone loves. If you’re ready to play fantasy cricket but don’t know how to analyze players, consider his Articles as the foundation of your fantasy teams. Anand is a cricket blogger and fantasy cricket lover.