Pakistan vs New Zealand 4th T20I: Preview and Prediction
After a comeback in the last game against Pakistan, New Zealand would be looking forward to continuing the momentum in the fourth T20I, as the series shifts to a new venue – Rawalpindi. The penultimate game of the series will be held at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, on Thursday.
The Lahore stint of the series ended in favor of the hosts, as they started the series with two wins on the trot. The first game ended in utter humiliation, as New Zealand was beaten by 88 runs, after getting bundled up in 94 runs.
Ayub and Zaman scored 47 runs each, as Pakistan posted a handsome total of 182 runs. Haris Rauf inspired a huge win, as he took four wickets, conceding only 18 runs. Matt Henry and Ben Lister took three and two wickets for New Zealand, respectively. Chapman scored 34 runs off 27 balls.
The second match had a similar script. The difference was that of the protagonists. Babar Azam scored an unbeaten century, while Rizwan added fifty to his name. Batting first, Pakistan posted a total of 192 runs. Haris Rauf impressed the fans and critics as he took another four-wicket haul. Mark Chapman’s heroics went in vain, once again, as he scored an unbeaten 65 off just 40 balls.
New Zealand made a comeback in the third match. Tom Latham and Daryl Mitchell stepped up as New Zealand posted 163 runs on board. Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf picked up two wickets each. In reply, Pakistan fell four runs short.
A valiant effort from the bat of Iftikhar Ahmed brought Pakistan into the contest. He was supported by Faheem Ashraf. The duo put up a partnership of 61 runs for the eighth wicket. Iftikhar scored 60 runs off just 24 balls, a knock that included six maximums and three boundaries. Faheem scored 27 off his blade in just 14 deliveries.
What Have They Done So Far
As one would have guessed at the start of the series, Pakistan has been impressive and has played some good cricket throughout the tournament. New Zealand has been second-best for most parts of the series. It is also because some first-team players are injured or playing in the ongoing Indian Premier League.
Pakistan’s batsmen have been inconsistent throughout the series. However, someone or the other, has stepped up on different occasions to make sure the team puts up a respectable total on the scoreboard. Iftikhar and Faheem have provided balance to this squad and are contributing in all areas of the game. Haris and Shaheen have picked up wickets at regular intervals not allowing the opposition batsmen to free their arms.
On the other hand, New Zealand has had a tough time handling the pressure caused by a quality Pakistan side. Matt Henry, Mark Chapman, and Tom Latham have been their star performers throughout the series. However, they managed to win only one of the three matches. Rachin Ravindra and Daryl Mitchell have been stepping up with handy contributions.
Head To Head Record
Pakistan and New Zealand have battled out 32 times in the T20 format. The head-to-head record stands 20-12 in favor of Pakistan. In the ongoing series, the hosts lead by 2-1. It is important to note none of the matches has ended in a tie.
Haris Rauf (Pakistan): Haris Rauf has been the stand-out bowler for Pakistan throughout the series. With ten wickets in three matches, the speedster would be crucial to his side clinching the trophy in the upcoming T20I.
Rauf has consistently troubled the opposition batsmen with his blistering pace and bounce. His bowling in the death overs could be vital in getting the win.
Tom Latham (New Zealand): Tom Latham would want to play a captain’s knock and lead his team to victory in this all-important encounter. Latham scored a half-century in the last match and would hope to play match-winning innings again.
With Rawalpindi being a batting pitch, Latham’s experience could prove to be the game-changer for New Zealand.
Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam ©, Fakhar Zaman, Saim Ayub, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Ihsanullah, Zaman Khan
New Zealand: Tom Latham ©, Chad Bowes, Will Young, Daryl Mitchell, Mark Chapman, James Neesham, Rachin Ravindra, Adam Milne, Matt Henry, Ish Sodhi, Ben Lister
It is a batting wicket, as per the past pitch reports. We believe the visitors will continue the momentum they gained in the third T20I. New Zealand will win the match, as the series will be levelled at 2-2. The second-string Kiwi line-up showed grit in the last game and can go the extra mile in the upcoming T20I.