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New Zealand came into the women’s WorldT20 with a lot of expectations. They were the dark horses for a lot of people to win the title but things have not gone to plan for them. New Zealand started its tournament with matches against India and Australia and knew that it probably needed to win one of those matches to have a decent of moving on to the semi-finals.
They have lost both those matches and need Ireland to beat India to have any chance of qualifying for the semis. That is, of course, assuming they beat Pakistan and Ireland.
That makes the following match against Pakistan very important for New Zealand. Pakistan is in much the same position as New Zealand at the moment. It has lost to India and Australia but would like to beat New Zealand and be in a position to capitalize if Ireland does, in fact, manage to beat India.
There is no one that New Zealand can blame for its current predicament but itself. The side was blown away by Harmanpreet Kaur in the opening game and then failed to provide a stiff challenge to Australia when it was needed the most.
Now, an exit from the WorldT20 after the completion of the group stages looks all but certain.
New Zealand started the match against Australia poorly. They bowled a wayward length and allowed the Aussie opening pair to get off to a good start. It was only when Australia had put up 70 runs in 8 overs that New Zealand managed to get its first wicket.
From then on the New Zealand bowling improved and they did pretty well to keep Australia to a score of 153. It was a par total that New Zealand should have chased down. Unfortunately for them, three out of their top-4 were out in the first three overs and that was effectively the end of the run chase.
New Zealand is a much better side than Pakistan on paper. It has players with a lot of experience, better batting depth, and superior bowling resources. All of these advantages have to translate to performances on the field, though.
Kasperek took three wickets in the last match to help peg the Aussies back, Devine took two, and the others were tidy without being too incisive. New Zealand will be content knowing that Pakistan does not have the same kind of batting depth that Australia possesses.
A couple of early wickets will stop the Pakistani progress. It will also be aware, though, that its own batting has been struggling and that keeping the Pakistani side to a small total might be imperative to secure victory.
Players like Devine, Sattherwaite, Peterson, Kerr, and Tahuhu will be disappointed with their performances in the WorldT20 so far. Suzie Bates showed some fight but was unable to lead her side to victory all alone.
A concerted team effort to try and stop the Pakistani side from pulling off an upset will be necessary.
Suzie Bates, Sophie Devine, Katey Martin, Amy Satterthwaite, Maddy Green, Leigh Kasperek, Bernadine Bezuidenhout, Jess Watkin, Hannah Rowe, Amelia Kerr, Lea Tahuhu.
The Pakistani camp seems quite pleased at the way this WorldT20 is going. The side gave a good fight to India and then managed to get past Ireland to have a glimmer of hope of qualifying for the semi-finals. No one gave them a shot at being able to qualify for the semis and so just having this faint window of opportunity should make them proud.
This optimism hides some real facts, though.
Pakistan has not managed to beat any side which it was not favored to. It was beaten quite comprehensively by Australia and while the scorecard against India might suggest a close match, the Indians were always in control.
Even Ireland gave the Pakistani’s a scare when they had them at 29 for 1 in 8 overs. A couple of chances were missed that ended up changing the way the match has progressed. Such mistakes are not likely to be made by New Zealand.
All in all, Pakistan has played to expectation. Nothing more and nothing less.
To get past New Zealand, Pakistan will have to put in a performance that is better than anything that they have put forward so far. They could also be at the receiving end of a frustrated New Zealand side that is looking to vent by really making a statement.
The Pakistani batting would be pleased to see Javeria Khan score some runs in the tournament and for Ayesha Zafar to get a start as well. Nida Dar and Bismah Maroof scored runs in the previous match so there are a few players that should be quite confident going into this match.
The New Zealand bowling has been quite steady but it has not blown away opponents. If Pakistan can withstand the early pressure and then put up a decent total it may be able to put a struggling New Zealand batting under pressure.
Among the bowlers, Sana Mir is the one name that stands out. She took two wickets for 20 runs against Ireland and was ably supported by Aiman Anwar, Aliya Riaz, and Nashra Sandhu.
Pakistan’s bowling attack is quite decent although it does not have the pace of some of the other teams.
Javeria Khan, Ayesha Zafar, Omaima Sohail, Bismah Maroof, Nida Dar, Muneeba Ali, Aliya Riaz, Sana Mir, Sidra Nawaz, Aiman Anwer, Nashra Sandhu.
The side winning the toss is expected to bat first
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The weather in Providence has been very kind and we are hopeful the same will hold true for this match. The current weather forecast is for some rain in the day but nothing that will affect the match. Humidity is going to be high.
The pitch in Providence has gotten a little bit slower but remained mostly the same. It is low, slow, and offers very little to the bowlers. The batters can take full advantage after getting in although smashing boundaries from the first ball is proving difficult as well.
New Zealand has disappointed in the WorldT20 so far but it has yet to play against any of the weaker opponents. Their caliber of players is undoubtedly superior to Pakistan’s even though the form may not be very encouraging.
We think New Zealand should be able to win this match pretty easily.
Back New Zealand to win.
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