NEW ZEALAND IN UAE, 2018
Pakistan won the second match with six goals. © AFP
From a terrible 47-run defeat to an entertaining six-time win in the span of 48 hours, there is no better competitor to do such epic scripts from Pakistan. Only for the second time in seven matches, Pakistan, on Friday, pursued a target against New Zealand in the UAE. The win not only helped Sarfraz Ahmed's team end an embarrassing successive defeat against the Kiwi but also saw them win the ODI against parties not named Zimbabwe, Hong Kong or Afghanistan in this calendar year.
After a decisive victory, Pakistan had the chance to win their second bilateral series against New Zealand in format in the last ten years.
They beat New Zealand in all aspects of the game to equalize the draw on Friday. The players clicked early, the spinners competed very well to keep the Kiwi batsman checking in the middle of the overs, and then finished the process neatly to limit the visitors to the total that could be achieved. But what is sure to be encouraging for them is the order of those who require Sarfraz's call to spend time in folds. The top three pile up almost 3/4 of the target. However, both Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam threw their goal on the threshold of the century and fifty at Lockie Ferguson ended.
The inability of Bowlers to make a breakthrough until the 29th ends will send Kane Williamson back to the drawing board to evaluate his bowling plan. The hit department shows signs of impending disaster at the first ODI. This stretches in seconds. But, everything isn't lost because it gives Williamson the chance to have honest conversations with his batsmen about their crucial plans for the final.
When: 11 November 2018, 3:00 pm local time
Where: Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai
What to expect: Another hot and humid day in the office. What else?
Pakistan: After suffering a blow to his helmet's lattice and being rushed to the hospital for a preventive CT scan and MRI, Imam Ul Haq is under surveillance and will remain so throughout the final ODI night. Pakistan was forced to make changes to the second match with Faheem Ashraf in place to replace Junaid Khan, who was ruled out due to foot infection.
If the Imam is deemed not available for the Dubai contest, Mohammad Hafeez can be hit into the opening position and one from Asif Ali or Haris Sohail can take his place in the intermediate order.
Possible XI: Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Haris Sohail / Asif Ali, Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk), Imad Wasim, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi
New Zealand: Except for Ross Taylor, there is no Kiwi batsman that looks very comfortable. Those who scored in the first contest failed in the second round. And, the majority, saved George Worker, who has struggled in the UAE for the past month with New Zealand & A 39 #, failed to negate the threat posed by Pakistani bowler players.
They may be tempted to rest the Southee Team ahead of the three-match Test series that starts next week with the right wrestler playing all five matches so far.
Possible XI: George Worker, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult
Do you know?
Because he has made ODI's debut for Pakistan, Shaheen Afridi has the most wickets (12), the best average (17.58), and the best strike rate (21.5) among Pakistani Bowlers. Imagine how the numbers would look if his colleagues did not drop six catches from the ball.
Ross Taylor 91.28 is the second-best average ODI this year behind 133.55 Virat Kohli.
Pakistan has a win / lose ratio of 1.25 when chasing in Dubai. During their last tour in the UAE, Pakistan pursued 247 New Zealand behind 85 * Haris Sohail here.