Pakistan take on ‘runaway’ New Zealand in World Cup clash today

By: News Desk      Published: 11:06 AM, 26 Oct, 2021
Pakistan take on ‘runaway’ New Zealand in World Cup clash today
File photos.

Pakistan after hammering India’s Kohli-XI in their opening match of the T20 World Cup has now set their sights on New Zealand at Sharjah today (Tuesday), reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

The match will start at 7 pm (PST).

New Zealand is the same team that refused to play against Pakistan at the eleventh hour citing ‘security reasons’, packing up and leaving about an hour before their first one-dayer last month. After that England too had cancelled its tour to Pakistan.

Pakistani skipper Babar Azam and coach Saqlain Mushtaq also emphasized in post-match speeches with the team to celebrate victory against arch-rival India but remain focussed on the next match.

Experts said that Pakistan will have to quickly adjust from the highs of their historic win.

For Pakistan cricket team, defeating India was like getting the monkey off their back, and now is the time to focus on the next game against New Zealand.

Kiwis captain Kane Williamson recalling the cancellation of Pakistan tour just before the T20 World Cup said,” “There are a lot of good relations within the two teams. Over the years they've played a lot against each other, and a number of players have played with each other, as well.” 

“After seeing Pakistan’s performance against India, the Pakistanis are now favourite to win,” he said and added, “I am sure the game will be played in the right spirit.”

Pertinent to note that newly elected chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ramiz Raja already stated that New Zealand will be one of the targets in the T20 World Cup.

“We had one team in our target, our neighbours (India), now add two more teams, New Zealand and England,” Raja said last month.

T20 record

These two teams have played 24 T20I matches so far. Out of which 14 have been won by the Pakistan side and the Kiwis have won the other 10 games. As far as T20 World Cups are concerned, these two teams have met five times and the head-to-head record is 3-2 in Pakistan’s favour.

Pakistan batting consultant Matthew Hayden reviewed the team's historic win against India, his experience of being part of the dressing room, and the journey ahead.

He said, “Cricket is not just a sport. It is a religion.”