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High-spirited Pakistan to take on rampaging NZ today

Sarfaraz Ahmed and his men will continue their battle of survival in the ICC World Cup 2019 when they face rampaging New Zealand in a bid at Edgbaston on Wednesday.

While, the Kiwis would be eyeing to maintain their winning streak in the tournament and aim to seal their semifinals spot with a win against Pakistan.

Sarfaraz’s side followed up their opening defeat to West Indies by upsetting hosts England, but the two consecutive defeats against Australia and India made their qualification in the semi-finals in doubt. The green shirts then made a remarkable comeback against South Africa, but they are now at the stage where they have to sustain that throughout the remaining matches.

On the other hand, the in-form Williamson’s side were run close by West Indies on Saturday, with Carlos Brathwaite’s last-over dismissal clinching victory. The Black caps have won four of their seven completed ODI fixtures at Edgbaston, including a four-wicket victory over South Africa in this World Cup.

What they said

Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mahmood ahead of an important fixture against New Zealand said,

“They (New Zealand) have got match winners in their side, so it’s going to be crucial for us to take wickets with the new ball. And when we bat, we need to get runs up front.

“If we can get our discipline right like last game – in batting, bowling and fielding – then we can beat any side.”

While the New Zealand’s all-rounder Mitchell Santner has praised Pakistan’s varied bowling attack.

“Their bowling attack on the whole is very good. They’ve got some very good seam bowlers as well as spin bowlers. We’re aware of their strengths, and I think Wahab (Riaz) back into their team is very good for them” the spinning all-rounder said. “(Mohammad) Amir is bowling very well as well,” added Santner of the left-arm paceman, who has 15 wickets in five matches.

New Zealand are likely to make no changes in their line-up in this contest. However, Pakistan are expected to field the same side which won against the Proteas at Lord’s on Sunday.

Squads

Pakistan: Sarfaraz Ahmed (c, wk), Asif Ali, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Imam-ul-Haq, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz, Haris Sohail, Imad Wasim, Fakhar Zaman

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), Tom Blundell (wk), Mitchell Santner, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Colin Munro, Ish Sodhi, Henry Nicholls, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Jimmy Neesham

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