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Pakistan vs New Zealand 3rd T20I Preview + Dream11

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Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

Pakistan vs New Zealand 3rd T20I Preview + Dream11 Cricket Blog CricBlog Cricket Preview
Image credit: AFP

Co-written by @Abdushakoorcric

Pakistan’s purple patch has continued, putting together an excellent run of results since World T20 2016. Despite New Zealand giving them a much sterner test than Australia did, Pakistan have yet again come out on top in the UAE, picking up their 11th straight series win on Friday.

Whether they have batted first or second, Pakistan have had an answer in 2018, and now have the opportunity for nine straight T20I wins, to go with 11 successive wins while chasing.

New Zealand have not been poor, but need to improve on certain areas of their game if they are to boost their morale ahead of the ODIs. Can they avoid a whitewash?

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Key to a Pakistan win

Fakhar Zaman in his comeback showed some of his best form until a Superman catch from Kane Williamson (not for the first time) saw him going back in disbelief. Can he build on his promising effort? His opening partner and number one T20I batsman Babar Azam has been a little rusty this series, but he is also the key to help Pakistan have a good start. With Mohammad Hafeez in fine touch, after five straight 30+ scores, Pakistan’s top order will once again dictate the result.

With the ball, Shaheen Shah Afridi will be the one to keep an eye out for again. The man they call the ‘Pakistani Mitchell Starc’ is showing his pace, patience and control in shorter format, paving the way for the spinners to build further pressure on New Zealand who are dependent on Colin Munro for a quick start. Faheem Ashraf is also in decent touch, nailing some yorkers in the previous match, which is a good option at the death too.

Will Pakistan put together another good performance?

Key to a New Zealand win

When you think who will be the key, surely a voice comes into your mind saying “Munro”. A fantastic T20 player, Colin Munro is a peril for the opposition in the powerplay overs, setting the tone for New Zealand. Unfortunately for the Black Caps, they haven’t quite been able to build on Munro’s big starts, so whoever partners him at the top (possibly Williamson) needs to provide adequate support to take New Zealand to the next level.

Also, New Zealand’s middle order has what it takes to put Pakistan under pressure. Colin de Grandhomme is yet to fire, and can be dangerous alongside Corey Anderson, who helped get New Zealand to over 150 in the second T20I. Can the Black Caps, if given the chance, get over 160?

On the bowling front, Pakistan’s top order remains the target for New Zealand. Mohammad Hafeez was superb yet again, but early wickets, as well as control from Ish Sodhi and Ajaz Patel, will be the order of the day in limiting a pretty well-drilled Pakistan unit right now.

Possible XIs

Waqas Mahmood could make his debut for Pakistan, with Hasan Ali possibly making way.
Pakistan possible XI: 1. Babar Azam, 2. Fakhar Zaman, 3. Asif Ali, 4. Shoaib Malik, 5. Mohammad Hafeez, 6. Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk), 7. Faheem Ashraf, 8. Imad Wasim, 9. Shadab Khan, 10. Shaheen Afridi, 11. Waqas Maqsood
For New Zealand, Mark Chapman and Lockie Ferguson could come in for Glenn Phillips and Adam Milne respectively.
New Zealand possible XI: 1. Colin Munro, 2. Glenn Phillips/Mark Chapman, 3. Kane Williamson, 4. Colin de Grandhomme, 5. Ross Taylor, 6. Corey Anderson, 7. Tim Seifert (wk), 8. Tim Southee, 9. Adam Milne/Lockie Ferguson, 10. Ish Sodhi, 11. Ajaz Patel

Dream11

End the series off with a little Dream11 fun. Below is my team, with a few pointers.
  • Sarfraz Ahmed is in good touch, so too Colin Munro.
  • Kane Williamson could open the batting, which is where he does well. Fakhar Zaman is my captain – back him to go well.
  • Mohammad Hafeez is in fantastic form, and Corey Anderson is a danger in the middle overs.
  • Spin makes up the majority of my bowling attack, with Shaheen Afridi the seam option.

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Stats and Facts

  • Glenn Phillips’ T20I strike rate is 98.27, compared to 134.20 in T20s overall.
  • Babar Azam needs 48 runs in this match to become fastest to 1000 runs in T20Is.
  • Waqas Maqsood is likely to make his debut for Pakistan today.

  • Pakistan has won 27 out of 31 matches under Sarfraz Ahmed’s captaincy.

  • Mohammad Hafeez has joined the club of hitting five consecutive 30+ scores in T20Is, which includes Virat Kohli, Martin Guptill and Meg Lanning.

Prediction

New Zealand have tried hard in this series, but Pakistan’s form and know-how in these conditions is excellent.
I am backing Pakistan to win again and take the series 3-0.
Thank you again to @Abdushakoorcric for co-writing this Preview. Be sure to give him a follow.
Thanks for reading!
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Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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