New Zealand has been the team to beat during this World Cup. They haven't lost a single match in this edition so far. They had an washout against India where they would have been tested and pushed to their limits.

But there were signs of concern against the Windies where a marvelous Carlos Brathwaite almost pulled off a win for them when they were nine down with 46 runs to get. The bowlers let some easy runs and the fielding and catching were well below par, despite those being the areas that the Kiwis pride themselves on.

They will be up against a Pakistan team that finally showed up against South Africa with a completely dominating performance. Haris Sohail added life to Pakistan's campaign with his match-winning at Lord's. Now they feel they can win and stay alive in this tournament.

New Zealand will most likely stick with their ultra attacking opening combination of Martin Guptill and Colin Munro. Both have been susceptible to the moving ball especially coming from left-arm fast bowlers. Sheldon Cotrell snaffled them early on, they must look to curb their regular instincts and play out the threat an inform Mohammad Amir can cause.

That then allows the prolific duo of Kane Williamsonand Ross Taylor some breathing time than having to bail out the side out of tricky situations always. The middle-order of Jimmy Neesham, Tom Latham, Mitchell Santner and Coin de Grandhomme should stay intact for this clash.

New Zealand have almost got used to Lockie Fergusongetting wickets in the middle overs. And the likes of Trent Boult and Matt Henry striking early. Pakistan certainly need to be cautious against these seamers and not allow them to dominate.

Probable XIMartin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Jimmy Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson.

Some interesting statistics from this game between New Zealand and Pakistan:

  1. Pakistan have dropped the most number of catches in this World Cup- a shocking 14.
  2. Kane Williamson has been in scintillating touch this World Cup, having amassed 373 runs at an astounding average of 186.50.
  3. Wahab Riaz enjoys the World Cup for sure, averaging a brilliant 25.28 in 17 World Cup games, that goes upto a whooping 38.16 otherwise.

Key PlayersKane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Jimmy Neesham, Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson.


 Mumbai Indians and Jammu and Kashmir pacer Rasikh Salam has been handed a two-year ban by the BCCI after he was found to have submitted a faulty birth certificate to the board.

Subsequently, he has been removed from the under-19 squad that will travel to England to play in a tri-series and has been replaced by Prabhat Maurya.

Salam, a pacer from J&K, made news when he debuted for Mumbai Indians in this Indian Premier League. He was the third player from Jammu & Kashmir to get an IPL contract - after Parvez Rasool and Manzoor Dar - and only the second after Rasool to get into the playing XI. He hails from Ashmuji village in southern part of Kashmir, which is often said to be affected by curfew and power cuts. Mumbai Indians picked him for his base price of INR 20 lakh.

 

Subsequently, he has been removed from the under-19 squad that will travel to England to play in a tri-series and has been replaced by Prabhat Maurya.

 


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Hyderabad to host IPL final on May 12

 


 


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