World Cup 2011 – Pakistan Look To Secure Knockout Spot

Shahid Afridi

Shahid Afridi

Just over a month after the two teams met Down Under, Pakistan and New Zealand square up once again, this time on the biggest stage of them all – the World Cup. Pakistan won that series played in New Zealand and also enter this Group A match as favourites after winning all of their 3 matches convincingly while New Zealand, despite beating Zimbabwe and Kenya by 10 wickets, enter this match as the lesser fancied team. Reckless shot selection contributed to their downfall against Australia while Pakistan, led by their inspirational skipper, beat Canada despite having only 184 runs to defend.

Openers Ahmed Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez are yet to find their feet in the tournament while Kamran Akmal has got off to good starts before throwing it away. Misbah Ul Haq can’t do a thing wrong of late and he, along with Younis Khan and Umar Akmal will look to move the things around in the middle overs thus setting up Shahid Afridi and Abdul Razzaq to cut loose during the slog overs. Shoaib Akhtar is expected to return in place of Wahab Riaz while Saeed Ajmal will be desperate to prove his point as Abdul Rehman continues to sit out with injury. Shahid Afridi has undoubtedly been the star of the tournament so far with his 14 wickets in three games and the Kiwi batsmen won’t expect to have it any easier at Pallekelle.

Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum blazed away against the Kenyans and Zimbabweans ensuring ten wicket victories but that also meant that the middle order spent no time at the centre. The middle order comprising of Taylor, Ryder, Franklin and Styris struggled against the quality pace attack of Australia and this is something Shoaib and Co. will be eyeing. The Kiwis have the strongest lower order in the tournament with Oram, Nathan McCullum and Vettori coming in at No.7, 8 and 9 but they will be banking on the top order to deliver the goods. The virgin pitch of Pallekelle is expected to assist the seamers and Bennett and Southee will look to make full use of the new ball.

A victory for Pakistan will strengthen their bid end on top of Group A whereas a win for New Zealand will all but guarantee them a place in the quarterfinals. Can the Kiwis shrug of their tag of being the weakest among the strong or will it be Shahid Afridi’s signature pose of arms thrust towards the sky that will capture Pallekelle’s debut on the international scene?

Probable teams:

Pakistan: Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Akmal (Wicketkeeper), Younis Khan, Misbah Ul Haq, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi (Captain), Abdul Razzaq, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul, Shoaib Akhtar.

New Zealand: Brendon McCullum (Wicketkeeper), Martin Guptill, Jesse Ryder, Ross Taylor, James Franklin, Scott Styris, Jacob Oram, Nathan McCullum, Daniel Vettori (Captain), Hamish Bennett, Tim Southee.

Live Telecast: Star Cricket (14:30 Local Time, 9:00 GMT)

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Monish Menon

Author:

Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad. I am 22 and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.blogspot.com

Cricket

NatWest t20 Blast 2014

NatWest t20 Blast 2014

Posted by: The Sports Mirror on May 23rd, 2014

The 2014 NatWest t20 Blast got underway on May 16th and it looks set to be a thrilling cricket tournament if the first round of fixtures is anything to go by. M ..

Football

Team Pune to start Player Draft  Selection Sequence in Round One

Team Pune to start Player Draft Selection Sequence in Round One

Posted by: Vikram Kamboj on July 22nd, 2014

Hero Indian Super League today conducted the ‘Clubs Sequence Selection’, based on which the Central Domestic Player Draft will be organized over the next tw ..

Tennis

Is this the end of era?

Is this the end of era?

Posted by: Gautam Bajpai on February 7th, 2014

Roger Federer as many would say, is and will be the greatest of all time. Over the years, the Swiss has entertained us with his breathtaking skills on the court ..

F1

Racing towards the Formula Masters China Series 2013

Racing towards the Formula Masters China Series 2013

Posted by: Vikram Kamboj on April 30th, 2013

Bangalore, April 29, 2013:  Meco Racing – International is a now a fully functional Racing Team taking part in the Formula Masters – Asia Series. The Team ..

Boxing

ESPN STAR Sports Signs up a 5 Year TV Broadcast Rights Deal with Super Fight League (SFL)

ESPN STAR Sports Signs up a 5 Year TV Broadcast Rights Deal with Super Fight League (SFL)

Posted by: Vikram Kamboj on March 14th, 2013

New Delhi, India, Wednesday, March 13, 2013: ESPN STAR Sports, Asia’s leading sports broadcaster, today announced a 5 year broadcast deal with Super Fight Lea ..

Other Sports

12th Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm to zoom off this Saturday

12th Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm to zoom off this Saturday

Posted by: Vikram Kamboj on February 16th, 2014

New Delhi, February 16: The who’s who of Indian motorsport will race for the top spot at India’s longest motorsport extravaganza – The 12th Maruti Suzuki ..

One stop guide to all the sports news, reviews, opinions, fixtures and live scores from India and around the world. A true reflection of sports.

Copyright © 2012 | The Sports Mirror