ICC World Cup 2019, New Zealand vs Pakistan: Top five player battles - Sarfaraz and Co face Williamson challenge
New Zealand will look to continue their unbeaten run and seal a place in the final four of the competition when they take on Pakistan in a crunch ICC World Cup 2019 group stage clash at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Wednesday. ((Full Coverage: ICC World Cup 2019))
The Kiwis are on the verge of sealing a place in the final four of the competition, having won five while one match was washed out. As for Pakistan, they find themselves at the bottom half of the table, winning two and losing three while one was abandoned due to rain.
Let’s now take a look at some important player battles that could decide the course of the match:
Martin Guptill vs Mohammad Amir
Opener Martin Guptill is on the verge of becoming the second Kiwi batsman after Stephen Fleming to score 1000 World Cup runs. The job to stopping him early in his path will fall to pacer Mohammad Amir, who enjoys a good record against him. Off 94 deliveries from Amir, Guptill has scored just 56 runs but to his credit, the right hander has been dismissed by the pacer yet in ODIs.
Colin Munro vs Shaheen Afridi
Opener Colin Munro hasn’t set the tournament alight and will look for a big score in his next outing. But things aren’t going to be easy for Munro as he has to come up against his nemesis Shaheen Afridi. Munro has faced 23 deliveries from Afridi and has scored just 26 runs. Also, Munro has been dismissed by the Pakistan pacer thrice.
Kane Williamson vs Wahab Riaz
Skipper Kane Williamson has single-handedly put New Zealand on the verge of sealing a place in the semi-finals. In this game against Pakistan, he will have to face the pace of Wahab Riaz who has been good in patches in the tournament. Williamson has faced 67 deliveries from Wahab in ODIs, scored 60 runs and has been dismissed once.
Imam-ul-Haq vs Trent Boult
Opener Imam-ul-Haq has been among the runs but hasn’t scored a big one yet in the tournament. Things are going get more difficult for the southpaw as he will have to deal with Trent Boult early on in the innings. Imam has faced 39 balls from Boult and has scored just 19 runs and also lost his wicket once.
Babar Azam vs Lockie Ferguson
Middle-order maestro Babar Azam scored a half-century in his last outing and will look to continue the momentum in this crucial clash. Expect pacer Lockie Ferguson to be introduced into the attack whenever Babar comes to bat as he holds a good record against him. Off 43 deliveries from Ferguson, Babar has scored 43 runs and has been dismissed twice by the seamer.