New Zealand v Pakistan, Group E, World Twenty20, Barbados May 7, 2010

Pakistan and New Zealand fight to stay alive


Match Facts

Saturday, May 8, Bridgetown
Start time 0930 (1330 GMT)

The Big Picture

Both New Zealand and Pakistan were out-played in their opening Super Eight games and the loser of this match will almost certainly be heading for the exit. Pakistan, the defending champions, have the most reasons to worry after an unconvincing opening week in which they lost twice and only managed to beat Bangladesh.

They began the Super Eights with a six-wicket defeat by England after their batsmen posted 147. Two losses in a row would weigh down most teams but with Pakistan there is always the chance of a magical follow-up. Their first goal is to fix some sloppy fielding - five catches were dropped against England - and then to find a batsman who can blast a rapid half-century to take them to a score of 170-plus.

New Zealand started the tournament with two wins to top their group, but life became harder against South Africa and their chase fell 13 runs short. Their bowling is a problem and Daniel Vettori wants it fixed.

"We have to improve on that pretty quickly, going into two must-win games now," he said. Teams cannot afford back-to-back slip-ups at this stage and this match will help determine whether New Zealand reach their almost traditional semi-final spot at a major tournament.

Form guide (most recent first)

New Zealand LWWTL
Pakistan LLWWL

Watch out for...

It's been a quiet event for Brendon McCullum, who in his prime could claim to be the game's most destructive hitter. McCullum has not even managed a six in the first three matches while registering 0, 22 not out and 6. He is such a crucial man for New Zealand that the mini-slump must end if the team is to progress any further.

Umar Akmal has made some bright contributions in his two chances and will look to provide sustained punch on Saturday. Akmal, who has batted at No.4 in the past two games, picked up 30 off 25 balls against England to follow his 18 from 14 against Australia. If he gets a long stay he will be brutal.

Team news

With Vettori's problems with the bowling, New Zealand may consider bringing in Kyle Mills for Tim Southee. Southee was taken for three sixes in an over by Albie Morkel as his 120-125kph medium pacers went for 39 in three overs. While Southee's yorkers are usually valuable at the end of the innings, the side might prefer the extra experience of Mills. The coach Mark Greatbatch said they would consider one or two changes.

New Zealand (possible) 1 Brendon McCullum, 2 Jesse Ryder, 3 Martin Guptill, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Scott Styris, 6 Gareth Hopkins (wk), 7 Jacob Oram, 8 Daniel Vettori (capt), 9 Nathan McCullum, 10 Kyle Mills, 11 Shane Bond.

Pakistan have Mohammad Sami in the squad if they want to re-jig their fast-bowling attack again. Mohammad Asif came in against England and went for 43 off fours overs, having replaced Sami. Some effective support for Mohammad Aamer would be extremely useful.

Pakistan (probable) 1 Salman Butt, 2 Kamran Akmal (wk), 3 Mohammad Hafeez, 4 Umar Akmal, 5 Shahid Afridi (capt), 6 Misbah-ul-Haq, 7 Abdul Razzaq, 8 Fawad Alam, 9 Mohammad Aamer, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Mohammad Asif.

Pitch and conditions

Faster bowlers have had some encouragement at Kensington Oval so look for a crucial battle between Shane Bond and Mohammad Aamer. "It's certainly not a quick wicket, it's still suited to us," Vettori said. Still, the surface is a lot sprightlier than the ones they encountered in Guyana. The forecast for Saturday is scattered showers and a top of 31C.

Stats and trivia

  • New Zealand have played Pakistan four times in Twenty20s and never beaten them. The closest they came was a seven-run defeat in Dubai in November
  • Salman Butt is Pakistan's leading run-scorer in the event with 122 while New Zealand's best is Jesse Ryder with 77
  • Jacob Oram and Nathan McCullum have tournament strike-rates in the 180s after some short but brutal displays


    "It's the nature of the format that your four overs can be brilliant one day and pretty tough the next and we are hoping for a quick turnaround from some of the guys' performances."
    Daniel Vettori calls for an improved bowling effort

    "We missed our opportunities [against England] and you can't afford to miss opportunities. We are working hard but right now I don't know why we are missing opportunities."
    Shahid Afridi has a lot to think about

    Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 9, 2010, 8:12 GMT

    guyz just need to change a player from the tem nd dat player is misbah ul haq with tht new player hamad azam nd change mohd hafeez with mohd asif nnd must keep 1 spinner only dat is ajmal ,where other spinner is afridi also dere i wish gul would b here nd pakistan coach should b waism akram :(

  • Dummy4 on May 8, 2010, 14:08 GMT

    I'm a sri lankan and i really want Pakistan to be in semis with sri lanka. GOOD LUCK Pakistan. Hope u guys can win this.

  • Dummy4 on May 8, 2010, 13:24 GMT

    i think pakistan has still the chance to go ahead, playing mohammah asif is a wise decision caz although asif is not htat quick as sami still he has got pricision he can bowl accoding to the field set , second thin is that caption should open the bowling with his best bowlers ''fast bowlers asif and amir '' abdul razal will be a better option, during the power play the caption should try to contain the newzelad batsman, at least singles should be restricted. in bating abdul razak should come out a bit earlier his presense on the pitch can do alot as he can accelerate any time he wants . one thing to be kept in mind bowling should be according to the field set

  • Dummy4 on May 8, 2010, 13:11 GMT

    pakistan will not win 2day i challenge

  • Dummy4 on May 8, 2010, 13:02 GMT

    pakistan will win this match.insallah

  • Bilal on May 8, 2010, 12:57 GMT

    half an hour to go , cant wait. i have a feeling Pakistan is on a serious decline. same as with west indies. our batting except umar and butt is club level, bowling we have only amir and ajmal. Lets accept we aint the force we once were. Stop blaming pcb or afridi. As much as I would like a pak win., i cant see that happening, certainly not against the saffers(even if somehow we do win this one).

  • Dummy4 on May 8, 2010, 12:50 GMT

    pak need help from their batting.

  • Dummy4 on May 8, 2010, 12:47 GMT

    Either send fawad alam early or show him the door. We are really missing Gul.

  • Kazim on May 8, 2010, 12:45 GMT

    I fully agree to the comments on captainship. Players are not showing playing as a team but the individuals. I'm sorry but this attitude can't help win against good teams

  • Dummy4 on May 8, 2010, 12:39 GMT

    Afridi is saying "We missed our opportunities [against England] and you can't afford to miss opportunities. We are working hard but right now I don't know why we are missing opportunities." Even a six year will be able to tell why Pakistan is missing oppourtunities, simple there fielding is the school kids playing on international level. Batting is more worse then the club level and only Aamer and Ajmal are the only bowlers who are a bit better, the ithers are just crap.

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