Pakistan look to stay in semi-final race in crucial New Zealand clash


Saturday November 4, M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru

New Zealand would have entered this match as a clear favourite just one week ago, but some injury concerns in the Kiwi camp and a form turnaround from Pakistan means it's difficult to determine who will emerge as the winner.

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With Matt Henry now ruled out for the rest of the tournament, and question marks surrounding the fitness of Lockie Ferguson, New Zealand have called on the services of proven pacer Kyle Jamieson and the tall right-armer may even come straight into the XI for this crunch clash.

Skipper Kane Williamson will be monitored as he continues to recover from his thumb concern, while Pakistan look more settled now with the return of opener Fakhar Zaman to their line-up.

Fakhar torched Bangladesh with a stylish half-century last start and can often be relied upon to get Pakistan off to a fast start alongside the reliable Abdullah Shafique.

It will be interesting to see whether Pakistan include another specialist bowler against New Zealand, or continue to call on Iftikhar Ahmed to perform with the ball as he has done reasonably well over the last few games.

Pakistan will be hoping their quicks – led by freshly crowned No.1 ranked ODI bowler Shaheen Afridi - can put a massive dent in New Zealand's top order and this battle will go a long way in determining who comes out on top in Bengaluru.

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New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitch Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Will Young.

Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Ali Agha, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim.

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New Zealand - Glenn Phillips

The New Zealand all-rounder has shown glimpses of his best this tournament, but hasn't quite put it all together in one individual match...yet.

Phillips picked up impressive figures of 3/37 in an inspired spell against Australia and then delivered his second half-century of the tournament when amassing 60 in a losing cause last start against South Africa.

With a host of key players missing through injury, it's time for Phillips to step up and showcase exactly how good he is with a match-winning performance.

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Pakistan - Fakhar Zaman

The opener showed his importance to Pakistan against Bangladesh in Kolkata when he smashed a quickfire 81 at the top of the order to give his team the ascendancy.

Fakhar can set the tone for Pakistan early and his new-ball battle with the likes of Trent Boult and Tim Southee will be pivotal to the outcome of the game.

If Fakhar can get Pakistan off to a good start during the Powerplay then it paves the way for Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan to pace the innings during the middle overs.

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