A week into the World Cup, nobody gave Pakistan the slightest of chances of making the Semi-Finals. Losses to India and Zimbabwe left the reeling. The form of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan was concerning, but now, after an interesting turn of events, Pakistan, in the most Pakistan like fashion are in the World Cup Semi-Finals. They did something similar in 1992, and faced New Zealand back then too in the Semi-Finals. Now, after facing New Zealand in a tri-series Final right before the World Cup, they face them in a World Cup Semi-Final.
New Zealand are in yet another semi-final. They have made the Semis in each multi-national event since 2015, barring the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy. They have also made the Finals in the last three World Cups, and a fourth one is ahead of them. This time though, they face an unpredictable Pakistan side. Both teams have really good bowling, and shaky batting. The strength with their bowling though is proving to be enough as both fight for a spot in the Finals.
Played- 25 | Pakistan – 15 | New Zealand – 10 | No Result- 0 | Tie- 0
Date: November 9th 2022
Time: 1:30 PM IST
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground
The weather is good and a full game is on the cards.
The Sydney track is worn and there is some spin on offer. Batting first is a better option given the pitch and bowling strength of both sides.
Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Shan Masood, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Nawaz, Ifthikar Ahmed, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf
Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson, Glenn Phillips, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult, Ish Sodhi
Coming in as a replacement for Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Haris is doing a fantastic job. He is showing great intent and making a difference in the game with his short and crisp batting displays. Against a strong New Zealand bowling attack, another quick and crips innings from him will help ease pressure on the others.
World Cup Knock-out matches are all about seizing momentum early. Trent Boult is best placed to do so and can rock Pakistan very early with his left-arm seam. His days with New Zealand are numbered and a good performance here is necessary as he hopes to prove his worth despite giving up on a New Zealand contract.
Both sides are really good with the ball. New Zealand has a history of making Finals with ease, but facing Pakistan could change their fortunes this time around as they have a tough opponent ahead.