About the Match
In the first qualifying match of the Championship League T20 series starting on 17 Sep 2013, Faisalabad Wolves comprising of players from Pakistan are taking on Otago, the squad from New Zealand at the Mohali Cricket Ground, Chandigarh. The venue which has been mainly used for Tests and ODIs so far is expected to see a good turnout of cricket frenzy crowds. Both the teams have a mix of experienced players and young starters from their respective countries and will definitely put up a great show. It needs to be seen which side will get the first advantage as this much awaited tournament kick-starts on Tuesday.
Misbah-Ul-Haq has been in superb form and is just returning from Zimbabwe tour where the Pakistan contingent managed to draw the test series. The captain has well experienced players like Asif Ali, Ali Waqas, Khurram Shehzad, Saeed Ajmal, Samiullah Khan and Imran Khalid. Md. Salman behind the wicket has contributed well in recent matches. There are some good fast bowlers like Waqas Maqsood and Samiullah Khan; with good support expected from Mohammad Salman and Imran Khalid. Most of the middle order batsmen can extend all round support for the cause of the team. There are a good number of young players who can excel on the field and save runs for the team. With good game strategy and a positive attitude, it’s a strong team to beat.
Derek de Boorder is a young captain and can hold his head high, even at odds. Many young players are from U-19 squad of New Zealand. They have fairly good mix of left and right batting combination and medium fast and spin bowling. Boorder can keep the wickets and the great Brendon McCullum, with an experience of playing in 164 T20 matches can replace him behind the wicket. Nathan McCullum and Neil Broom have an immense combined experience to guide the youngsters. Ian Butler, McCullum, Rutherford and Redmond have the required expertise as they have been part of English Counties like Essex, Gloucestershire and Glamorgan. Many of the players have also played in the famous Indian Premier League being part of teams like Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders thus having a rich experience of playing in the sub-continent.
Mohali has given many a nightmares to teams in test cricket and provided entertaining contests as well. The pitch is expected to be lively, providing assistance to both spin and medium pace. Weather is not likely to be a hindrance and will be marked with a lot of sunshine. The teams are well geared up for the tournament start-up and expected to put up a very smarting show during the contest. New Zealanders have variety in both batting and bowling requirements of T20 cricket. It is going to be an absorbing cricket on Tuesday. Judging from recent performances, the Otago team is expected to give surprises and come up trumps on 17th.
Otago, 1.8 @ William Hill