Kiwis brace for unbeaten Pak in Group A tie

28 Nov 2019 admin

first_imgDaniel Vettori’s erratic New Zealanders will have their task cut out when they take on Pakistan in a Group A encounter in Pallekele, near Kandy, on Tuesday.The action now shifts from Colombo after four games at R Premadasa Stadium and three games are set to take place at the newly- built Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.Pakistan are on top of Group A, having maintained an unbeaten run. The 1992 champions have almost secured a berth in the lasteight stage of the competition.However, Shahid Afridi’s side will be looking to brush up a few areas before the knockout stage commences later this month.Pakistan batsmen would like to put up a better show against New Zealand after their poor performance against Canada, where they were shot out for a paltry 184. Facing an ordinary Canada attack, the much- vaunted Pakistan batting line- up failed to deliver as none of their batsmen were able to cross 50.So inept was Pakistan’s batting that day that they failed to utilise more than one over of the batting powerplay. ” We have struggled a bit with the batting powerplay and we need to utilize that properly in the remaining games,” vicecaptain Misbah- ul- Haq told reporters on Tuesday.Misbah- ul- Haq urged his teammates to share the burden shouldered by skipper Shahid Afridi, who has almost single- handedly guided the team to victory in all its three matches so far.” It’s really very good for a team that its captain is doing well, but other players are also required to play well, take responsibility and ease pressure off the captain,” said Misbah. ” I think in all conditions, especially here, Afridi is a difficult bowler to handle, he has got variation and doesn’t give the batsmen time. With that kind of aggression he has led from the front.” It was Afridi whose second five- wicket haul in the tournament helped Pakistan skittle out Canada for 138.advertisementAfridi, who is now the leading wicket- taker in the tournament with 14 scalps, will be keen to continue his good run. But the skipper would also like to make a significant contribution with the bat too.New Zealand, on the other hand, have had contrasting performances in their three matches.While they thrashed both Zimbabwe and Kenya by 10 wickets,they were humbled by Australia in their second match, losing with 16 overs to spare.The Kiwis’ last series before the World Cup was against Pakistan and although they lost that series 2- 3, captain Daniel Vettori was confident his side will do well against Afridi and co. as they possess a fair idea what to expect from their opponents.” Having played Pakistan in recent months is certainly an advantage,” Vettori said.The conditions in Pallekele will also be to their liking as the wicket is expected to be faster than the ones in Colombo and Hambantota.” The surface looks faster than what we have been seeing in Sri Lanka before this game and we are looking forward to the game,” Vettori said.He hoped key batsman Ross Taylor would fire against Pakistan.” I think your best players are the ones who win the World Cup and Ross is obviously one of our very good players. He has high expectations from himself and he wants to perform. I expect him at one stage in this tournament to win a game for us and hopefully it’s tomorrow.” With PTI inputslast_img

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