Pakistan vs New Zealand 3rd ODI: Preview and Predicted Playing XI
Pakistan hit back in the second one-day international against New Zealand to level the honours. Now they will welcome the visitors for the third and final ODI at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday, November 11.
Both countries have faced each other in 103 completed ODIs with the Kiwis leading the scoreline 54-48, and one game ending in a tie. This will be their second meeting at this venue in the fifty-over format. On the previous occasion back in December 2014, the hosts went on to win it by three wickets.
Electing to field, Pakistan restricted New Zealand to just 246/7 at the end of their 50 overs and then got over the line in the final over of the match to win the nail-biting contest by three wickets.
The victory in the previous game at Abu Dhabi ended Pakistan's twelve-game ODI losing streak against the Kiwis and they will be a much-relieved side after the end of the second ODI. Despite a win in the previous encounter, there are still a lot of areas which they need to address to win this series.
Pakistan's top order finally came to the fore in the previous fixture with Fakhar Zaman playing the anchor role with his impressive 88 run knock. He was well supported by Babar Azam, who scored 46 runs off 50 balls and the skipper will bank on these two to replicate their performance in the third ODI as well. Mohammad Hafeez, skipper Sarfraz Ahmad and Shoaib Malik are key figures in the middle order and will be expected to put their best foot forward and get the team to a good total.
Shaheen Afridi was the pick of the lot in the second game with four wickets and will be backed by the team to get a few breakthroughs up front. Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan will be the skipper's go-to men in the decisive clash, both have troubled the Kiwi batsmen so far and are expected to create problems for them at Dubai.
Expected Playing XI
Sarfraz Ahmed (C), Faheem Ashraf, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik.
New Zealand have won eight and lost four out of the twelve ODIs they have played this year and despite losing the previous encounter to the Asian side, they will take a lot of confidence from their record against Pakistan.
The failure of the New Zealand top order including skipper Kane Williamson in the first two ODIs has certainly added pressure on their middle order and they will need to find a way to resolve this issue if they want to put the hosts on the backfoot. Ross Taylor has been their top performer so far in this series with respective scores of 80 and 86 in two games and is expected to be the major threat.
Tom Latham played an impressive knock of 68 runs in the first ODI and the team will be expecting a similar performance from him in this match. Williamson has failed to click so far and he will be eager to silence his critics by playing a big innings here.
Lockie Ferguson is the team's leading wicket-taker with six wickets in two games, while Trent Boult notched up a three-wicket haul in the first game. These two will be backed by their skipper to rattle the Pakistan top order early on. Tim Southee is the Kiwis' most experienced campaigner in this squad and the team will want him to bring all of his experience into play in this all-important clash.
Expected Playing XI
Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult, George Worker and Colin Munro.