Cricket match date: 31st October 2018
Cricket match time: 09:30 pm IST
Cricket match location: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Cricket Match format: T20 International
Tournament: New Zealand tour of United Arab Emirates 2018/19
Team A: Pakistan
Team B: New Zealand
Team A Captain: Sarfraz Ahmed
Team B Captain: Kane Williamson
Cricket Match Preview:
It is hard to believe that in this day and age when most cricketers around the world are complaining about the tight schedules and player management issues, New Zealand cricketers will be playing their first International cricket game since April 3rd. On that day, New Zealand completed their test series win over England. Since then, some of their players have mostly played franchise cricket around the world.
Pakistan have no such issues and they are running high on confidence after their 10th consecutive series win in T20 cricket. They successfully clean swept Australia by 3-0 and did not allow them to win a single game on the entire tour. They have selected the same T20 squad that enabled them to win the series against Australia and against New Zealand as well. A notable exception is the exclusion of Mohammad Aamir yet again.
New Zealand not only will have to contend with a strong Pakistani side in full form, but they will also have to be wary of conditions, which will be completely different than home conditions at this point in time. Another factor could be the lack of cricket, which some of the players, who have not played franchise cricket, might experience. With only a handful of games left before the upcoming cricket World Cup, they will have to get up and running soon.
Pakistan, on the other hand, would want their middle order to support the good work of Babar Azam, who has been amazingly consistent in this format of the game. That is the only aspect of their game that has struggled in recent times. But that itself speaks the volume of their bowling that not once it led to any discomfort against Australia.
From New Zealand’s point of view, they would like to expose that middle order of Pakistan and also be wary of their spinners. If they can somehow neutralize the spin bowling of Imad Wasim, it will go a long way in helping them to win the series.
Cricket Match Information:
New Zealand will take on Pakistan in the first cricket T20 International match at Abu Dhabi. Just like the Australian tour of Pakistan, this series will also have three T20 International cricket games. It will be the first International game for New Zealand in months; they last played the test match against England back home in April.
Probable XI (Our Prediction):
Pakistan brought some changes in the third and final T20 against Australia as they had already won the series. Our prediction is that they will get back to the combination that won them the series in the second game of the series. Shoaib Malik might miss out as he has just become the father of a baby boy.
Here is our prediction of Pakistan’s playing XI:
- Mohammad Hafeez
- Fakhar Zaman
- Babar Azam
- Shoaib Malik/Hussain Talat
- Sarfraz Ahmed
- Asif Ali
- Faheem Ashraf
- Imad Wasim
- Shaheen Afridi
- Shahdab Khan
- Hasan Ali
Probable XI (Our Prediction):
It will be New Zealand’s first cricket game in a long time. Some of their players played franchise cricket to stay match fit. Martin Guptill is out injured, and Glenn Philips has been named as the replacement. Our prediction is that other than that, they will play the same lineup that took on Pakistan in the T20 internationals played in New Zealand earlier this year.
Here is our prediction of Australia’s playing XI:
- Glenn Philips
- Colin Munro
- Kane Williamson
- Mark Chapman
- Ross Taylor
- Colin De Grandhomme
- Corey Anderson
- Tim Southee
- Ish Sodhi
- Adam Milne
- Lockie Ferguson
Cricket Statistics and Prediction:
Babar Azam has been in terrific form in T20 games. His amazing run of form has helped him to reach the top spot in batting charts. He will look to continue this rich vein of form. Our prediction is to expect yet another half-century from Azam.
Cricket Match Conditions and Pitch:
Pakistan’s template in UAE has been simple – score 150 while batting first and then let the bowlers do the damage to opposition’s batting. New Zealand would like to change that trend in this series. Conditions are expected to be similar to the Australian series.
Pakistan will begin this cricket game series as the favourites as they have been in excellent form. Meanwhile, New Zealand are coming back from a long break. Hence, our prediction is to expect a Pakistan victory in the first cricket game.
Top Batsman (Prediction):
Babar Azam (PAK) – 50+ runs
Top Bowler (Prediction):
Imad Wasim (PAK) -2 or more wickets
Most Sixes (Prediction):
Asif Ali (PAK)
Pakistan – 1.58
New Zealand – 2.40
*odds may change anytime