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

CSK: The real kings of IPL cricket

CSK: The real kings of IPL cricket

Posted by: Atish Home Chowdhury on April 24th, 2015

Surrounded with various temples and historical monuments, the ancient city of Chennai is a perfect melting pot of tradition and modernity. Chepauk Stadium is on ..

Football

The emergence of new league sports in India

The emergence of new league sports in India

Posted by: Vikram Kamboj on April 21st, 2015

GroupM ESP and Sportzpower have collaborated to bring the second edition of their most comprehensive report on sports sponsorship, which captures the emergence ..

Tennis

The emergence of new league sports in India

The emergence of new league sports in India

Posted by: Vikram Kamboj on April 21st, 2015

GroupM ESP and Sportzpower have collaborated to bring the second edition of their most comprehensive report on sports sponsorship, which captures the emergence ..

F1

F1: One point would have been better, says Alonso

F1: One point would have been better, says Alonso

Posted by: Anjan Merkap on April 23rd, 2015

A slightly disappointed Alonso remarked, “One point would have been better. In the end it was positive that we finished the race and were able to get more exp ..

Boxing

Sachin Tendulkar meets Sarita Devi

Sachin Tendulkar meets Sarita Devi

Posted by: Atish Home Chowdhury on January 16th, 2015

Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar met the ace Indian boxer Sarita Devi at his home in Mumbai and wished her success for future matches. The Manipuri athlete was r ..

Other Sports

Mandar Divse (10km Men) and Nikita Prabhu (10km Women) win the coveted “Swimmathon 2015”

Mandar Divse (10km Men) and Nikita Prabhu (10km Women) win the coveted “Swimmathon 2015”

Posted by: Vikram Kamboj on March 2nd, 2015

Almost 600 swimmers from across the country participated in India’s most awaited open water swimming event, Swimmathon 2015. Athletes in various categories ..

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