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30 Oct 2018 by Rob

New Zealand vs Pakistan – 1st T20 International Preview & Prediction

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AT A GLANCE

When is New Zealand vs Pakistan taking place? Wednesday, October 31st

Where New Zealand vs Pakistan taking place? Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi

What is the expected weather for New Zealand vs Pakistan? 28-30c with some cloud but no rain forecast

What channel is New Zealand vs Pakistan on? The match will be shown live on Star GOLD (Sky Channel 729)

Where can I stream New Zealand vs Pakistan? The match will not be available via streaming

Are tickets still available for New Zealand vs Pakistan? https://www.q-tickets.com/pakvnz2018/eventlist.aspx

THE TEAM NEWS

NEW ZEALAND

Captain: Kane Williamson

  • New Zealand return to action after not playing internationally for seven months but the vast majority of their squad have been playing plenty of cricket in recent months with Glenn Phillips, Corey Anderson and Mark Chapman all playing for New Zealand A against Pakistan A in Dubai recently.

  • They are without two key players for this format of the game in particular as Guptill and Santner are both ruled out through injury so that weakens them somewhat but there is plenty of quality in their ranks and Corey Anderson comes off an impressive T20 Blast campaign in England with Somerset.

  • They will rely on Colin Munro and Glenn Phillips to open the batting and they will be desperately hoping the duo can form a strong partnership to quell the Pakistan bowling attack early and prevent them getting on a roll as they did against Australia.

PAKISTAN

Captain: Sarfraz Ahmed

  • Pakistan are coming off an excellent 3-0 whitewash series win over Australia in this format and they come into this series aiming to make this their 11th consecutive series victory so form is strong and they will be fired up to get another win.

  • Babar Azam is in fine form as the top-ranked T20 international batsmen following yet another superb series against Australia and he is setting a phenomenal platform for the rest of the team with some controlled big hitting.

  • They are unlikely to make any radical changes from the last match with Australia as Sahibzada Farhan will start again in place of the injured Fakhar Zaman but the players that have rotated into the side have shown good form so they will not be concerned.

THE PREDICTION

It is extremely difficult to go against Pakistan here. New Zealand have plenty of quality in their ranks but they have not played together for seven months and it will take some adjustment to these pitches in UAE. The average score in Abu Dhabi is 145-150 and Pakistan have just about mastered the control to set a solid enough pace without taking silly risks, and then to bowl incredibly well. Their bowling attack is particularly strong and New Zealand will struggle when coming in cold against them, and that will be the key in another Pakistan win.

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