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12-Dec-2014 04:35:00 GMT
Pakistan v New Zealand, 2nd ODI, Sharjah

Pakistan Aim to Extend Lead Against New Zealand

Sharjah: Pakistan will be looking to capitalize on their good fortune against New Zealand in 2nd ODI at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Friday.

No opposition gets on top of each other for a sustained period of time while each contest is a slugfest where each team grinds hard for a decisive blow. As the focus shifts to Sharjah for the second ODI, both teams will be aiming to eliminate certain flaws and sustain a winning habit.

Pakistan may have snapped their five-match losing streak by winning the first ODI in Dubai by three wickets on Monday but they have huge problems in their batting. The top order and the middle order are failing to set a platform and this is building pressure.

The efforts of Haris Sohail and Shahid Afridi in Dubai masked the several problem areas in the batting department. In the first ODI, the likes of Mohammad Hafeez, Younus Khan, Ahmed Shehzad and Misbah-ul-Haq flopped in Dubai and they will be eager to contribute if they have to improve their ODI consistency.

They have to thank their lucky stars that Afridi displayed a rare form of sense and along with Sohail, built a 110-run stand to give Pakistan victory after they were reduced to 124/6.

On otherhand, New Zealand dominated most parts of the first ODI but they failed to deliver the knock-out blow. The batting has been buoyed by Ross Taylor, who entered the record books as the sixth batsmen to score three consecutive centuries in ODIs.

However, the rest of the batsmen have made starts but none have converted it into big scores. New Zealand will have to hold their nerve in pressure situations and fire as a collective unit with both bat and ball if they have to be a challenging force in this series.

Martin Guptill missed the first game due to a hamstring niggle while Corey Anderson was rested as a precautionary measure after being hit on the helmet during the first T20. Their fitness will be assessed on the morning of the game.

Teams from:

Pakistan: Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Asad Shafiq, Younis Khan, Haris Sohail, Misbah-ul-Haq (Capt.), Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Shahid Afridi, Wahab Riaz, Umar Gul, Mohammad Irfan, Nasir Jamshed, Bilawal Bhatti, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Akmal, Zulfiqar Babar

New Zealand: Anton Devcich, Dean Brownlie, Kane Williamson (Capt.), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi (wl), Daniel Vettori, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, Mitchell McClenaghan, Matt Henry, Corey Anderson, Martin Guptill

Pitch and conditions
Sunny conditions with a maximum of 28 degrees. The Sharjah pitch offered help for the spinners.

Stats and trivia

  • New Zealand's opening batsmen have had only two half-century stands in 2014 compared to Pakistan, who have had five, including a century partnership.
  • Shahid Afridi has a good record against New Zealand in Sharjah. In six matches, he has 278 runs at an average of 55.6 and a strike-rate of 120.86.
  • Pakistan have played 10 ODIs in Sharjah against New Zealand and have never lost. The last time they played against them in Sharjah was in April 2002.   

Match facts
Friday, December 12, 2014 (day/night)
Start time 1500 local (1100 GMT)

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