Pakistan vs. New Zealand
|Date & Time||Wednesday June 26, 2019, 5:30 AM (EDT)|
New Zealand 1.67 Pakistan 2.30
New Zealand and Pakistan meet at Edgbaston on Wednesday. New Zealand sit at the top of the table and a win would see them qualify for the semi-finals. Pakistan are 7thwith five points and must beat New Zealand to keep their faint top four hopes alive.
New Zealand have been very consistent throughout the group stage and are looking like real contenders to lift the trophy. They come into this match as favorites and their squad is extremely strong in every department. Their batsmen have been scoring runs and winning them matches, their bowlers have been threatening and their fielding has been first-class.
With that being said, Pakistan have been very hit and miss so far and it’s hard to tell what sort of performance to expect on Wednesday. They were thrashed by West Indies in their opening match but then claimed a shock win against England after that. They then lost to Australia and India before beating South Africa in their previous match.
Pakistan made 308/7 from their 50 overs and South Africa could only manage 259/9 in reply. Haris Sohail scored a brilliant 89 from just 59 balls and Babar Azam also chipped in with a half century. Once again though, it was their bowlers that impressed the most. Wahab Riaz and Shadab Khan both picked up three wickets whilst Mohammad Amir claimed 2/49 from his ten overs.
Amir has been in great form throughout the tournament and is level at the top of the wicket-taking charts with 15. He has been extremely economical and has also claimed the tournament’s best figures so far with 5/30 against Australia. If they are to stand any chance against New Zealand, Amir must bring his A game.
The Black Cap’s last match was a dramatic five run win against West Indies. New Zealand made 291/8 from their 50 overs and bowled out West Indies for 286 in the 48thover. Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson bowled brilliantly, claiming figures of 4/30 and 3/59 respectively whilst Kane Williamson scored a sublime 148 runs to help his side to the victory.
Williamson now has a remarkable 186.5 tournament batting average and has 373 runs to his name so far. He also produced another century against South Africa to guide his team home to another narrow win in the match before. It’s performances like this that are making many people pay attention to New Zealand and consider them real contenders to win this year’s World Cup.
With New Zealand playing so well and Pakistan being so inconsistent, I'll have to go with New Zealand to win this one and in doing so, book their place in the last four. We could see Pakistan come out fighting with their spot in the competition in danger however New Zealand are a much better team and should claim the victory on Wednesday.