The third and final T20I between New Zealand and Pakistan will be played tomorrow at the AMI Stadium, Christchurch. New Zealand have already won the series 2-0 after their dominant display in the first two games of the series.
Watch the Pakistan v New Zealand 3rd T20 live from Hamilton on Neo Cricket in India. Also watch the Pakistan v New Zealand 3rd T20 highlights from Christchurch on the same channel after the game.
While it was Tim Southee who starred for the Kiwis in the first T20, Nathan McCullum played a crucial role in the second. In the second T20I, Pakistan looked all set to chase down the target of 186 runs when they were cruising at 68/1 in the eighth over but some tight bowling by Nathan McCullum (4/16) and debutant Luke Woodcock turned the tide towards the hosts and eventually New Zealand emerged victors by 39 runs. For Pakistan, batting collapses in the middle overs have cost both the matches in the series.
Pakistanv New Zealand 3rd T20 Timings at Christchurch:
The third Pakistan v New Zealand Test match will start from 7.00 pm local time or 0600 hours GMT. It will again be a night game.
The AMI stadium (earlier known as Lancaster Park and Jade Stadium) has hosted three T20Is in all and New Zealand has a win, a loss and a tie in these three matches. The average score at the ground is 182 and Australia had tied the last match to be played here, chasing 214. This is one of the rugby-cum-cricket grounds to be found this part of the world and the short boundaries mean that the fans can expect a run feast.
New Zealand have done well to take the series with still one more game left in the series and will be looking for a clean sweep. The win has meant more to New Zealand cricket that went without a win for 14 matches on the trot, including a humiliating 4-0 whitewash at the hands of minnows Bangladesh. In absence of regular skipper Daniel Vettori and Brendon McCullum, the Kiwis have done enough to prove that they are a good bunch of cricketers at this level. Martin Guptill provided superb starts in both the games while Jesse Ryder has been a big disappointment scoring just six runs thus far. Otherwise, the Kiwis are a well-settled bunch and are expected to field the same playing eleven as in the second T20I.
On the other hand, Pakistan’s batting could be a major concern for the team. In both the matches, the team collapsed from a dominant position. The T20 specialists Shahid Afridi and Abdul Razzaq have failed to live up to their reputation while comeback man Younis Khan has also disappointed. The AMI ground has full of runs written on it, and Pakistan would be better off playing an extra batsman in the team. Fawad Alam could come back into the team ahead of Asad Shafiq and Abdul Razzaq could be promoted up the order. Another change Pakistan would look at is to ask Umar Gul to open the bowling as he has failed to fire once the ball is soft and the batsmen are well set.
Players to look out for:
New Zealand have everyone of the team, except Ryder, contributing to the team’s success and everyone will be hoping that Ryder fires this time. For Pakistan, Afridi and Razzaq have to lead others from the front and everyone is aware of what these two are capable of.