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Pakistan vs New Zealand 2nd T20I Match Live Preview
Game two of the New Zealand vs Pakistan three leg T20 series moves to Seddon Park in Hamilton as the home team seeks to wrap up the series by taking an unbeatable 2-0 series lead. With Pakistan losing both of their two prior visits to this venue (a 39-run loss back 2010 and a ten-wicket smashing in 2016), New Zealand enter the contest as warm favourites.
Despite the Kiwis having no Tim Southee and Trent Boult two days ago, their absence was well and truly offset by the remarkable performance on debut by Jacob Duffy, and his three wickets from the first 12 balls of his career. If only the last four deliveries of his spell did not go for 19 runs, his figures of 4/33 would have looked even better.
And while New Zealand’s run chase was not overly convincing, Tim Seifert continues to shine when batting at home as he finished as the game’s top scorer (57). In fact, his T20I average when batting at home is now 29.41, compared to just 8.17 in away fixtures.
With Boult, Southee, Kyle Jamieson and captain Kane Willaimson all available for selection after missing game one, it will be a tough call for New Zealand coach Gary Stead as to which players miss out. Duffy, Blair Tickner and Mark Chapman have all been released from the squad, while first T20I stand-in captain Mitch Santner will be rested and likely replaced by Daryl Mitchell.
No Babar Azam…. no Pakistan? If the team’s performance at the top of the order two days ago is anything to go by, that statement is very real as the visitors pretty much had their hopes end when they had slumped to 39/5 after just 49 deliveries.
While Abdullah Shafique probably deserves another go in the opening role having had two at bats there for scores of 41* and 0, Mohammad Rizwan looks better suited to bat during the middle order, reflected by his T20I average of just 11.75 when assigned the opening role.
Despite a positive 6-2 record in their last eight completed T20Is, Pakistan have not fared nearly as well on the road in recent T20s having won just two of their last nine matches.
With seven of the last nine H2Hs won by the team batting first, including the last three T20Is at this ground, it would be a surprise to see the winning captain not choose to bat first come toss time.
Players to watch:
Martin Guptill (NZ) enjoys an immense average of 63.60 from six Seddon Park T20Is. But he ought make the most of his time against an albeit deadly Pakistan seam attack, for he has been dismissed three times in three overs by spinner Shadab Khan.
Mohammad Hafeez (PAK) has been to Seddon Park twice prior for a T20I fixture for innings of 46 and 19. The former effort was achieved facing just 30 balls (S/R 153.33), while the latter was a much slower innings from 23 deliveries (S/R 82.61).
New Zealand have a 7-3 W/L record at Seddon Park.
Haris Rauf (55) and Shaheen Shah Afridi (50) have claimed more T20 wickets than any other players in the world this year.
From nine T20Is played, Haris Rauf has failed to take a wicket just once.
Mohammad Hafeez needs 41 more runs to overtake Shoaib Malik as the highest run-getter for Pakistan in T20Is.
Pakistan have recorded the most sixes in their last five T20Is.
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Pakistan vs New Zealand 2nd T20I Match Information
Referee: Crowe J. (Nzl),
Venue: Seddon Park (Hamilton)