Pakistan’s World Cup aspirations in trouble
There’s still a faint pulse, but only just as Pakistan continues to skate on thin ice in the 2019 ICC World Cup. A win against the Proteas has kept them alive in the tournament, but with a less than impressive net run rate and an undefeated-opponent in their upcoming match, the men in green will be fighting an uphill battle in this one. New Zealand’s ability to win games in this year’s World Cup has been second to none. The UK conditions aren’t to dissimilar to the ones in New Zealand, maybe that’s the secret to their success in the tournament.
This game means a lot more to Pakistan than it does New Zealand, a loss to the men in green would result in devastating ramifications in terms of their World Cup hopes & dreams. A loss would see them ruled out of the semi-finals race, however a win would see them just one game outside the top four (depending on other results as well). The harsh reality is that Pakistan have left their run to the World Cup semi’s too late along with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, however England’s recent-woes have kept all three teams alive. All three teams will be glued to the television tonight crossing their fingers that Australia can knock off England at Lord’s, the ramifications from that result are huge. Pakistan will be confident they have the right bowling attack that can cause some chaos in New Zealand’s batting department, Mohammad Amir and Shadab Khan were both brilliant against South Africa. To go with Amir’s zippy-pace and Shadab’s deceptive-spin, Wahab Riaz displayed his ability to bowl at the death with three late wickets to end the Proteas. Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq are yet to peak in the tournament with the bat, that’s been one of the reasons they haven’t been able to win consistently.
Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson is proving to be a handful for opposition bowling attacks, and with scores of 79*, 106* and 148 in his last three outings with the bat things aren’t likely to change. That could be seen as either a major upside, or a saving grace given his struggling-teammates around him. Mohammad Amir has been one of the more impressive bowlers in this World Cup, that’s not a good sign for Black Caps openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro. Both openers aren’t in good touch at all at the top of the order, Munro is averaging just 13.75 in his past four innings while Guptill isn’t much better with 15. Dual-golden ducks for both openers against the Windies could result in one of them being dropped, most-likely Colin Munro who wasn’t initially in New Zealand’s World Cup plans. New Zealand’s dominance with the ball has probably taken the pressure off the likes of Guptill, Munro and Ross Taylor with the bat, Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry started the tournament on fire. By no means has he been at his very-best in this World Cup, but Trent Boult’s 4/30 against the Windies could be a sign of things to come.
Top 5 fantasy picks – New Zealand
- Lockie Ferguson
- Kane Williamson
- Trent Boult
- Ross Taylor
- James Neesham
Wildcard pick – Colin de Grandhomme
Top 5 fantasy picks – Pakistan
- Mohammad Amir
- Fakhar Zaman
- Babar Azam
- Shadab Khan
- Haris Sohail
Wildcard pick – Mohammad Hafeez
Predicted Team XI’s
New Zealand (possible) – 1. Martin Guptill 2. Colin Munro/Henry Nicholls 3. Kane Williamson (c) 4. Ross Taylor 5. Tom Latham (wk) 6. James Neesham 7. Colin de Grandhomme 8. Mitchell Santner 9. Matt Henry/Tim Southee 10. Lockie Ferguson 11. Trent Boult.
Pakistan (possible) – 1. Imam-ul-Haq 2. Fakhar Zaman 3. Babar Azam 4. Mohammad Hafeez 5. Haris Sohail 6. Sarfaraz Ahmed (c & wk) 7. Imad Wasim 8. Shadab Khan 9. Wahab Riaz 10. Mohammad Amir 11. Shaheen Afridi/Mohammad Hasnain.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.