About the Match
Sealing a 248-run victory against New Zealand in the first test match, Pakistan took a 1-0 lead in the on-going tour and will now try to win the series with a repeat performance in the 2nd Test that starts on 17th Nov at Dubai. The Kiwis have been tested comprehensively by the Pakistani bowling attack and they will have to necessarily make amends here to keep their hopes alive. The hosts on the other hand are going from strength to strength in stabilizing their unit and look very strong in their preparations for the upcoming contest; it will be interesting to see which side wins this battle, making the best use of the resources at hand.
While the bowling squad has been very effective in keeping their line and length tight to restrict the leakage of runs, the wickets have not been coming at regular intervals because of which the Pakistani batsmen could post huge targets. They will need to find new tactics to surprise the opponents and work as a unit in giving a good show; the batsmen were all at sea, collapsing without a fight and having a lack of application except for opener Latham, who posted an impressive 103 off 222 balls in the first innings but sadly couldn’t repeat it again. Anderson’s all-rounder skills helped the team as he scored a good 48 runs and also took 2 wickets in the first innings but with the others falling like a pack of cards, the Kiwis were all-out for 262 within the 88th over. The 2nd innings was a worse disaster with only Sodhi being successful with his spin attack that got him 2 wickets; McCullum needs to lead from the front and inspire his players to do better in all spheres of the game if they want to keep the series alive.
Mohammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad are strong as the opening pair serving the team well with consistent performance; the duo posted a strong opening stand of 178 runs in the first innings and Hafeez repeated his skills with a good 101 off 130 balls in the 2nd innings. Shehzad’s astounding 176 off 371 reassures the team of his capabilities but with his skull injury, the team will miss his services in the remaining matches; Younis Khan and Misbah too stepped up here and scored a century each to bolster their total to 566 runs in the first innings, which the bowlers defended to perfection thanks to Rahat Ali and Zulfiqar Babar who took 7 wickets between them. The bowlers have been instrumental to the team’s success and they will continue to have the competitive edge to the Kiwis in the upcoming match as they are peaking at the right time now. With the team spirit on an all-time high after three consecutive successes including the 2-0 victory against Australia and Misbah being lauded as the most successful captain of the country, Pakistan is well set to create history.
The Kiwis are at the back-foot after their disappointing performance in the first test but they do have the talent and expertise to bounce back hard; though Pakistan performance has been excellent and will be hard to match, we feel New Zealand will cope with the pressure and emerge victorious to draw level.
New Zealand, 7.50 @ Bet365