New Zealand and Pakistan come up against each other in the business end of the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup 2023 group stage with both sides needing to ensure that they win for a place among the final four.
New Zealand will play Pakistan at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Saturday in the first of the two matches. The Kiwis had a brilliant start to their campaign defeating defending champions England and going on to remain unbeaten in their initial games. However, since Kane Williamson picked up an injury which has kept him out, their fortunes have turned. New Zealand lost their last three matches in a row and their last match against South Africa ended in a huge 190-run defeat.
Pakistan won their first match off the back of four consecutive defeats in their win against Bangladesh. They find themselves in a do-or-die situation in a bid to keep their dreams of a top four spot alive. A defeat is sure to end those chances, while a victory will still not be enough with things elsewhere needing to go their way.
Head To Head:
151 One Day Internationals (ODIs) have been played between the two teams and New Zealand have won on 51 occasions, while Pakistan claimed the victory 60 times. Three matches between them ended without producing a result and one match ended in a tie. The last time they played each other was in May this year in Karachi where Pakistan defeated the Kiwis by 47 runs.
New Zealand and Pakistan have played in nine World Cup matches so far of which Pakistan has won seven. Pakistan defeated New Zealand by six wickets in the 2019 World Cup, while the Kiwis had defeated the Men in Green by 110 runs in the 2015 World Cup. New Zealand’s last win before that against Pakistan had come in 1983 World Cup, the year India won their first.
The pitch at Bengaluru’s Chinnaswamy Stadium is a high-scoring one with short boundaries favouring the batters. Despite some help on offer for the bowlers, the winning captains are expected to elect to chase, deciding to bowl first.
Today’s weather is the biggest concern in Bengaluru with 100 per cent cloud cover and rain and thunderstorms predicted in the afternoon. Scattered thunderstorms are likely to take place from 10:30 am itself, according to Weather.com. The possibility of the match getting abandoned highly likely with 91 per cent chance of rain predicted throughout the day.
Google’s win probability has given a 53 per cent chance to New Zealand to take the win, while Pakistan have been accorded a 47 per cent chance. CricTracker predicted a New Zealand win, while MyKhel edged towards a Pakistan win. The match, if played, promises to be an entertaining affair with Pakistan’s hopes in the balance. If the match gets washed out, each team will be given one point.