New Zealand have been there and thereabouts in both the T20Is but have not been able to do enough to get over the line. Their biggest disappointment has been in the spin department where Ish Sodhi has gone out of form.
Consistency is not something you generally associate with Pakistan but the Sarfaraz Ahmed led T20I side has been dishing out just that. They have won a record 11 T20I series consecutively and have risen as a real force in the shortest format of the game.
It was just a month ago that they looked all at sea after not being able to qualify for the final of the Asia Cup but they have turned it around very quickly. Shaheen Afridi, despite being young, has led the bowling attack beautifully while comeback man Mohammad Hafeez has found form and is carrying Pakistan's batting order along with Babar Azam.
Colin Munro would be expected to give the Kiwis a good start yet again while Kane Williamson will play the role of a sheet anchor in his typical style. Corey Anderson has been good down the order but the team will certainly expect a lot more from Colin de Grandhomme.
Let's have a look at the probable playing XIs of both teams.
Pakistan- Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Sarfraz Ahmed, Faheem Ashraf, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi
New Zealand- Glenn Phillips, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson, Colin de Grandhomme, Ross Taylor, Corey Anderson, Tim Seifert, Adam Milne, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Ajaz Patel
Who will win? – New Zealand
Head to Head – T20Is 20, New Zealand 8, Pakistan 12
Top Batsman (Runs Scored) – Babar Azam (Pakistan), Kane Williamson (New Zealand)
Top Bowler (Wickets taken) – Shadab Khan (Pakistan), Ish Sodhi (New Zealand)
Most Sixes – Asif Ali (Pakistan), Colin Munro (New Zealand)
Team Scores Batting First – Pakistan 150+, New Zealand 140+
*NB these predictions may be changed nearer the start of the match once the final starting teams have been announced and we will be running ‘In–Play’ features soon, so stay tuned.
©Cricket World 2018