New Zealand vs Pakistan: Preview and Prediction

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New Zealand are positioned fourth in the points table with four wins from seven matches

Matches are coming thick and fast in the 2023 World Cup as it nears its business end. A double-header Saturday will see New Zealand square off against Pakistan in Match 35 of the ongoing marquee event. The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru will stage this anticipated battle on Saturday and this battle will be the second match of the ongoing tournament to commence at 10:30 a.m. IST.

The Kiwis have lost their way to the top all of a sudden. Two weeks back, New Zealand were one of the top two teams in the points table. They were at the top with eight points from four matches before meeting India in Dharamshala.

Since the loss against India, the Tom Latham-led unit has failed to win a game out of the next three matches. They lost to India, Australia and South Africa in their recent matches, and the tally reads eight points from seven matches, positioned at fourth place in the standings.

The worst of all has been the increased number of injuries that the Kiwis are getting to deal with. Their regular skipper, Kane Williamson is yet to recover fully. In addition, Matt Henry is suffering with his hamstring, Lockie Ferguson missed the last game due to a similar reason and Jimmy Neesham also injured his wrist. 

On the flip side, Pakistan have found a triumph after four defeats. After winning the first couple of contests in the World Cup, the men in Green suffered a big jolt as India steamrolled them in Ahmedabad. It was followed by consecutive losses against Afghanistan, Australia, and South Africa. 

They made three changes in their latest game against Bangladesh and found the road to success. Fakhar Zaman was a revamped batter at the top of the order and one of the major reasons behind the victory.  

Pakistan will have to win every match from here in order to increase their chances of qualification. The loss of New Zealand against South Africa actually widened their path to the knockouts and they would look to go all guns blazing for the win against Pakistan and England.

What have they done so far?

New Zealand kicked off the World Cup with a bang after twin centuries from Devon Conway and Ravin Ravindra helped them chase down 283 runs against England with nine wickets in hand. They followed it up with comprehensive victories over the Netherlands, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. 

The Kiwis played lower-ranked nations in the first half and are struggling at the moment. They have incurred major jolts against India, Australia, and South Africa. They were chasing down 389 runs against the Kangaroos and were very close to one of the grandest finishes in World Cup history. Unfortunately, they fell short by five runs. Adding to the worry, they were eclipsed by 190 runs by the Proteas in the recent clash in Pune. 

Pakistan initiated the World Championship event with a couple of wins. The Netherlands challenged hard but they came over it and followed it with a narrow chase against Sri Lanka. Pakistan suffered a huge drip as they were outplayed by the Indian contingent on October 14 in Ahmedabad. 

Babar Azam and his men let themselves down after losing against Afghanistan. After losses to Australia and South Africa, Azam’s men bounced back against Bangladesh knocking the Tigers out of the tournament.

Head to Head Record

New Zealand and Pakistan have crossed swords against one another in 115 ODIs so far. The Men in Green have earned 60 victories while their counterparts have won 51 matches. Three of the games bore no result while one game was a tie. In their last ten matches, Pakistan have a share of six wins while the Black Caps could win just three games. One of them was a rain-abandoned game.

Key Players 

Shaheen Afridi has bagged 16 wickets in WC 2023

Shaheen Afridi (Pakistan): In a tournament that has witnessed a plethora of tons, bowlers like Shaheen Afridi hold great value for disciplined bowling. The left-arm pacer is the leading wicket-taker for Pakistan in World Cup 2023 with 16 wickets from seven matches.

The best part about Shaheen has been his ability to take wickets in the middle overs. Prior to the tournament, the young gun was known for his ability with the new ball but Shaheen has bagged more wickets with his cutters and change-ups in this mega-event in his second or third spell of the innings.

Mitchell Santner (New Zealand): The wily left-arm spinner will be a key asset for New Zealand in the upcoming match against Pakistan. He has been one of the most economical bowlers of the World Cup and has also bagged 14 wickets from seven innings. 

Santner is a shrewd operator of the cricket ball and has plenty of experience playing in India. He bowled ten overs against England without leaking a single boundary. The all-rounder can also come in handy with the willow in hand.

Predicted XIs

Pakistan: Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam ©, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Agha Salman, Usama Mir, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jr.

New Zealand: Will Young, Devon Conway, Rachin Ravindra, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham © (wk), Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Trent Boult


Although Pakistan will be blazing all guns out for a win, New Zealand could end their streak of losses with a win. Without an iota of doubt, this game could be a deciding factor in the semi-final scenarios.