ICC World Twenty20 Group 2: Brilliant Black Caps to beat Pakistan
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | March 21, 2016
New Zealand v Pakistan
- ICC World Twenty20, Match 23
- Tuesday, March 22nd
- Play starts: 14:00 GMT
- Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali
- Live on Sky Sports 2
Momentum to take New Zealand through Pakistan battle
Top two 2016 World Twenty20 Group 2 leaders New Zealand and Pakistan lock horns on Tuesday, with the former looking to keep up their 100 per cent record so far.
The Black Caps have so far done tremendously well to see off both hosts India and bitter rivals Australia without breaking too much sweat, and are odds-on 8/13 favourites with Coral to beat the Men in Green (5/4) as well.
Left-arm paceman Mitchell McClenaghan did most of the damage for 50-over World Cup runners-up New Zealand’s most recent match against the Aussies, taking three wickets, while Mitchell Santner got four Indian scalps.
The duo are priced at 4/1 and 3/1 retrospectively to be best bowler for their team once more. Trent Boult (7/2) and Tim Southee (4/1) are always dangerous in any form of the game too, though are yet to feature.
Batsmen key for Black Caps
In terms of batting, the runs have been spread out relatively evenly, with opener Martin Guptill managing their highest score of 39. He is 11/4 to be top Black Caps batsman again.
Captain Kane Williamson (also 11/4), Corey Anderson (6/1) and Grant Elliott (8/1) have also impressed, and the nation’s strength in depth in the order will certainly be an advantage, especially if one or two of them can gain big scores.
Superstar Williamson is the subject of a Coral enhanced wincast too, with odds of 11/2 for him to be top NZ batsman and his side win.
Pakistan looked in top form in their World Twenty20 opener when thrashing pre-tournament dark horses Bangladesh by 55 runs, but were undone by another Asian nation in India by six wickets following that.
Pakistan need Afridi to perform to have any chance
Still, their batsmen have performed well, particularly Mohammad Hafeez (3/1 favourite to get the top score for the Men in Green), Ahmed Shehzad (7/2) and Shahid Afridi (10/1) against the Tigers.
Shehzad, Umar Akmal (5/1) and Shoaib Malik (11/2) also gained decent knocks against the hosts.
Reintegrated former wonderkid Mohammad Amir has impressed with the ball, taking three wickets so far this tournament including the dismissal of the dangerous Rohit Sharma early. You can back the 23-year-old at 5/2 to be best Pakistan bowler.
Others to look out for include all-rounder Afridi (10/3) and Mohammad Irfan (7/2).