New Zealand Aim Whitewash Against Pakistan as McCullum Returns

After the second game of the three match ODI series was washed out without a ball being bowled, the action now moves to Eden Park with the hosts’ skipper Brendon McCullum declaring himself fit to lead the side yet again. Pakistan, on the other hand, will be looking to end the tour on a positive note after consecutive defeats in last 2 T20s and 1st ODI despite a comfortable win in the first T20.

The Green shirts have always had problems with their batting, and this tour has been miserable for the batters so far. In the first ODI also, they could manage only 210 in reply to the hosts’ 280.

Ahmed Shehzad is hanging by a thread, and this might be his last chance to resurrect his lost form. Babar Azam is a promising young batsman, and he has shown excellent form in the recent past, scoring four half-centuries in last eight one-day innings & looked in ominous touch in the first ODI.

The visitors had a long rest which gave them time to clear their minds and put their best foot forward in the last game of the tour. Their bowling has received a boost with Mohammed Amir’s return who wrecked havoc in the first ODI picking up 3 wickets for just 28 runs from 8 overs. Pakistan squandered the advantage when they had the hosts reeling at 99 for 6 and failed to deliver the knockout punch as the bowlers could land in the yorkers perfectly.

While Martin Guptill is expected to sit out of the final game, the Kiwis will be happy that someone else other than Guptill or Williamson stepped up to the occasion and with contributions from the lower order they managed to pile up a decent total after their troubles initially. Tom Latham is expected to open with McCullum, and a swashbuckling innings is on the cards at one of the smallest grounds as he approaches the end of the end of his career. But the middle order was exposed in the first game & remains fragile in the absence of Ross Taylor. The hosts definitely possess world’s best fast bowlers who finish their job most often.

Pakistan’s best chance to win lies in New Zealand’s middle order woes, if they manage to restrict New Zealand to a below par score, the chase can become very intense on the small ground at Eden Park. Weather reports have revealed that we may be in for a rain curtailed encounter.


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