New Zealand have already won their T20 series with Pakistan with two matches to go but there is still a World Cup to continue to prepare for so there is still plenty to play for when the teams head to Christchurch for the fourth game on Friday.
Pakistan certainly won’t want to leave New Zealand without a win in these last two matches so they will have plenty of motivation to perform here while the Kiwis will want to keep up momentum ahead of the remainder of the summer.
We have seen three really good performances from New Zealand in this series, especially with the bat. The good thing for them was nothing changed even though Kane Williamson missed their last match and that tells us that they are a confident side and that they have plenty of depth. Their scores haven’t really tailed off much when you consider that the grounds have been getting bigger that this series has been played on so that also bodes well for them.
You could argue that they haven’t been quite as good with the ball in this series but that would be a touch harsh because the pitches have been great for batting and the grounds have been small. The margins in which they have won these matches by so far though tells us that they have done well with the ball because they are competing against a side who have a decent attack and their own batters have taken that for more runs than the Kiwis have conceded.
This hasn’t been the season that Pakistan would have wanted so far but they can still get something out of it in the last two matches. You sense they’ll need to get something because they are silly enough to panic and take the captaincy away from Shaheen Shah Afridi no sooner than they have given it to him and then they’ll be back to square one with a World Cup less than five months away so although the series has gone, there is still something on this for Pakistan.
They have batted well enough in this series. They have scored 173 or more in all three matches when faced with daunting run chases which is no mean effort and you would imagine if they bat first or have a more manageable run chase to navigate. In order for that to happen they are going to need to bowl better than they have done. They need to find early wickets to slow this New Zealand side down a little. The weird thing is they have the tools at their disposal to do that but it hasn’t happened for them.
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You wonder if New Zealand will make changes from here on in but one man who is waiting in the wings for them is Josh Clarkson. He is the only player called into the squad who is yet to feature in the series so it would make sense for him to get a game somewhere.
Pakistan were much better in the last game than the ones which went before it so even though they were beaten in it they might choose to go in with the same XI. With the bat the likes of Sahibzada Farhan are waiting for a chance.
New Zealand are all the rage for this match and I can understand that because they have dominated the series so far but it was one special innings which took the game away from Pakistan in the last match and if they can keep Finn Allen under better control, or if he doesn’t play if changes are made, then I think there is enough in this Pakistan side to get the job done here and I think they have got to a price at 11/8 which can be considered value.
I think Pakistan will be better for the fact that this is the biggest ground the series has been played on to date. These two sides met here in a tri-series match ahead of the T20 World Cup in 2022 and Pakistan won and they also beat Bangladesh in the game before which was also on this ground and there was another win over Bangladesh in that tournament and a loss to New Zealand but three wins from four tells us Pakistan like this ground and with New Zealand potentially subconsciously dropping off their top level, I’ll chance my arm on the tourists at 11/8.
Back Pakistan to beat New Zealand for a 3/10 stake at 2.38 with Betfred