New Zealand v Pakistan, Group E, World Twenty20, Barbados May 8, 2010

Ryder builds on useful starts

Cricinfo staff

New Zealand are hoping Jesse Ryder's improved fitness translates into big runs as they battle to stay in contention for the World Twenty20 semi-finals. Ryder missed most of the season with a stomach problem but has returned to the side for this tournament and is chipping in with useful displays at the top of the order.

Ryder has scores of 42, 2 and 33 in the first three matches and will need to keep delivering if New Zealand are to overcome Pakistan in Barbados on Saturday. The loser of the fixture will almost certainly be out of the race for the semi-finals while the winner should also need to succeed in their final Super Eight match to guarantee a top-four place.

"If we play to our potential I think we can do it," Ryder said. "We've got the team to do it."

Ryder is pleased with his fitness after the long lay-off and his only complaint is some stiffness in his legs. "I think my form is going pretty well, I'm striking the ball well," he said. "It's just a matter of getting in and going from there."

The coach Mark Greatbatch wants a couple of his men to star and Ryder, who opens with Brendon McCullum, is an obvious candidate for a large impact. New Zealand's players have been contributing but none has scored a half-century and only Nathan McCullum has taken three wickets in an innings.

"You need one or two guys to really step up," Greatbatch said. "That means a match-winning performance with the ball and a match-winning performance with the bat. It normally comes down to one or two guys."

New Zealand lost their opening Super Eight game to South Africa in Barbados on Thursday and need a quick turnaround. "We've got to regroup and scout Pakistan," Greatbatch said, "it's a big game coming up for us."

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  • abdullah on May 8, 2010, 12:25 GMT

    Afridi has led Pakistan poorly in this edition of the Windies 20-20 World Cup. If Afridi can utilize his team effectively today, then only do Pakistan stand a chance. Whether Ryder or McCullum or any of the Kiwi top batsman fire or not is besides the point.

  • Shabeena on May 8, 2010, 11:34 GMT

    Its gonna be an interseting contest, PAK definately need to fire on all grounds and find form in this match... Inshallah PAK will win...

  • PRAKASH on May 8, 2010, 11:13 GMT

    both teams actually miss that one big guy,say like KP fr england,watson fr aussie ABdevillers for SA........wat New Zealand need is a guy a like astle who can whole the innings.....i feel styris needs to bat up the order to hold the team 2gtr....i dont see NZ goin thru to the semis with 20s and 30s frm ryder guptill styris.....

  • A on May 8, 2010, 9:36 GMT

    Pak really needs one of their top order batsmen to fire ... Butt, Umar Akmal and Misbah have all had starts, and decent ones too. Aus has really come on strong, I dont agree with Sumair's comment that Aus or India will be equally difficult to face, since watching Aus dismantle India showed how out of sorts they were, much like PK being beaten by Australia. Aus though are looking really good, but if Watson and Warner are removed early in the innings, they are vulnerable. Today's game will be very interesting, since PK and NZ are both struggling a bit yet both have the potential to swing the game any way ..

  • Max on May 8, 2010, 8:47 GMT

    I think it's very simple. If one of New Zealand's distructive batsmen fires, then they will almost certainly win. If not, it will be a close contest.

    I think Pakistan lack match winning fire power, the netoriously inconsistant cult hero Afridi must fire if Pakistan are to have a chance.

  • Dummy4 on May 8, 2010, 3:07 GMT

    If some how Pak reached Semi they have to play against Aus or India and dont really think they way v r playing v could win against either of them :s

  • Dummy4 on May 8, 2010, 2:48 GMT

    Styris has also taken 3 wickets in an innings - actually in one over against Zimbabwe. But NZ certainly needs one of its top batsman to have a matchwinning innings.

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