New Zealand v Pakistan, 2nd ODI, Napier January 27, 2016

Patchy Pakistan seek to halt slide

103

Match facts


January 28, 2016
Start time 1400 local (0100 GMT)

Play 01:12
Pakistan look to stop the rot

Big Picture


Pakistan hoped to pose a stiffer challenge to New Zealand than Sri Lanka did, but with two matches to go, their tour is threatening to go the same way as the previous one. The most recent loss was perhaps the most disheartening of their three on tour. Having held New Zealand by the collar at 99 for 6, Pakistan eased their grip - introducing spinners to hasten the over-rate - and the New Zealand lower order shoved them to the ground. Even with Mitchell McClenaghan in hospital, New Zealand eased to their eighth limited-overs victory in ten games.

As ever, there is an edge to this Pakistan attack, but they have also lacked the full breadth of limited-overs skill, at times. They had broken New Zealand's batting open with swing, seam and pace, yet have had struggles with containing throughout the tour. There was also a seeming dearth of intent with ball and bat. With six wickets down by the 23rd over, they opted to reserve the quicks for later in the innings, instead of hunting for those last four scalps. Then the chase of 281 began slowly - only 33 coming from the Powerplay.

New Zealand have scrapped, jived and thrived despite everything that has been thrown at them. Four top players are ruled out of the next match, but such is the depth in their cricket at present that they have a bowler of Doug Bracewell's quality to replace McClenaghan. Their middle order had seemed a weakness, but on Sunday it was Henry Nicholls and Mitchell Santner who revived the team with their seventh-wicket stand.

The weather may play a role in shortening this match, but the rains are forecast to clear by afternoon.

Form guide


(last five matches, most recent first)
New Zealand: WWLWW
Pakistan: LLLLW

In the spotlight


The latest in New Zealand's production line of exciting young players is Henry Nicholls, who on Sunday played virtually the perfect rebuilding innings, notwithstanding an edge to slip that was shelled early in his stay. Nicholls punished short balls as he established himself at the crease, then slipped into low-risk accumulation mode when the team lost more wickets. His talents have been noticed internationally as well - the Sydney Thunder picking him up for a two-match stint towards the end of the Big Bash League.

Ahmed Shehzad averages 32.28 in ODIs since the start of 2015, but of more concern might be his strike rate of 75.22. A hitter of flashy boundaries atop the innings, his ability to keep the scoreboard moving during the tougher periods has sometimes limited his game. After four low scores in the tour now, Shehzad will want to make an impactful contribution on what has traditionally been the best batting track in the country.

Team news


Luke Ronchi is rested for the last two matches, and BJ Watling replaces him.

New Zealand (probable): 1 Tom Latham, 2 Martin Guptill, 3 Kane Williamson (capt.), 4 Henry Nicholls, 5 Grant Elliott, 6 Corey Anderson, 7 BJ Watling (wk), 8 Mitchell Santner, 9 Adam Milne, 10 Matt Henry, 11 Trent Boult

Pakistan will probably keep their attack intact, but Shoib Malik is likely to come back into the middle order, having recovered from his injury. Sohaib Maqsood seems likeliest to make way.

Pakistan (probable): 1 Azhar Ali (capt.), 2 Ahmed Shehzad, 3 Mohammad Hafeez, 4 Babar Azam, 5 Shoaib Malik, 6 Mohammad Rizwan, 7 Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), 8 Imad Wasim, 9 Wahab Riaz, 10 Mohammad Amir, 11 Mohammad Irfan

Pitch and conditions


The McLean Park surface is usually full of runs, but the weather does not look promising. The forecast suggests there will be rain until the early afternoon, and cloud thereafter. A strong southerly wind is also expected.

Stats and trivia


  • New Zealand struck 369 and won by 119 runs when these teams last played in Napier, in February 2015
  • Trent Boult became the top-ranked ODI bowler in the world ahead of the the first match of the series. Matt Henry is seventh on that list, while Mohammad Irfan is tenth.
  • Babar Azam has struck a fifty in half of his eight ODI innings so far

Quotes


"The New Zealand fast bowlers seem to be going really well. They've got a few options up their sleeve and they're rotating the guys. It's exciting to be back in the mix."
Fast bowler Doug Bracewell on being called up to a confident pace battery.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ali Raza on January 28, 2016, 13:02 GMT

    I hopefull today Pakistan level the series. but unlockly luck is not with team Pakistan

  • Oldtimer01 on January 28, 2016, 5:21 GMT

    The rain gods have always favoured pakistan. Even in the world cup they won, they were one match away from elimination and looked all set to lose the match but rain caused the match to be abandoned and pakistan luckily got a point and sneaked into the quarterfinals, where inzamam took advantage of the small grounds to score boundaries and lead pak to a win. Ironically in this series pakistanis have criticised those same small boundaries for pakistans defeat.

  • Shan Rodi on January 28, 2016, 5:17 GMT

    i think shoaib malik was the right choice to chosen for the captaincy

  • MUN28 on January 28, 2016, 4:27 GMT

    If this match is of 20 overs ,then ,Pakistan should give chance to

  • Cricinfouser on January 28, 2016, 4:27 GMT

    We should try Amir Yamin as a batting all rounder.Looks like a good batman.

  • sidkkc on January 28, 2016, 4:03 GMT

    @mnaeem585 waqar ODI economy was 4.68 what else would u want from a fast bowler???if our batsman cant hold the bat properly and loose game from winning position so then not even mohsin hassan khan could do any thing.

  • tanstell87 on January 28, 2016, 4:00 GMT

    Azhar Ali a wrong choice for captaincy. An unknown commodity like Sarfaraz Ahmed or Shoaib Maqsood should have been named captain after Misbah. Best luck from India.

  • nuraiz on January 28, 2016, 3:45 GMT

    Well if I were a pakistani, I wouldn't even watch such a team whose batsmen don't even know how to hold a bat! Such is the decline in pakistan batting. It's so disappointing to see that pakistan have failed to produce any technically sound batsman in recent years. Until they find the likes of Inzi, Yousaf , it's going to be humiliating defeats for pakistan in years to come.

  • nuraiz on January 28, 2016, 3:44 GMT

    Well if I were a pakistani, I wouldn't even watch such a team whose batsmen don't even know how to hold a bat! Such is the decline in pakistan batting. It's so disappointing to see that pakistan have failed to produce any technically sound batsman in recent years. Until they find the likes of Inzi, Yousaf , it's going to be humiliating defeats for pakistan in years to come.

  • Ali Shahbaz on January 28, 2016, 3:23 GMT

    best of luck team :) ik they will do good Amir go on you can take 5 wickets

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