Cricket Article

Fantasy Preview of Pakistan v New Zealand

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Pakistan and New Zealand take on each other in the Super Eights game of the ICC World T20. While an under-strength New Zealand routed a weak-looking Ireland, Pakistan played a game against Sri Lanka and at the time of writing had restricted the Sri Lankans to 150/7 after an explosive start to the innings. A very good 'bowler'> Pakistan will look to its bowling line-up to deliver the goods for them in the middle overs, but the new ball will be a definite worry. The dilemma that most of the Sports Pundit Fantasy experts will face is whether to get in Saeed Ajmal for most part of this tournament or to have one of the two spinners from Sri Lanka, Ajantha Mendis or Muralitharan! To me, it is a catch-22 situation and the one small reason that could go in favour of the Lankans is that I expect New Zealand and Sri Lanka to qualify for the semi-finals; and not Pakistan!

Their batting is yet to flower, with the openers having been a trifle disappointing yet. Younis Khan to me, looks like the only batsman I could trust to get in, and yet, he is an all or nothing man. If he gets a start he may go and score at least a half century, and if not, there is every likelihood he may get a single-digit one! To me, Misbah-ul-Haq needs to bat higher up, and will play in my side for this game. Gone home!> The Kiwis have been hit by many injuries, with Jesse Ryder having already left the country with his a bad groin. Martin Guptill’s previous game against Ireland should augur well for him and for the Sports Pundit Fantasy experts who would have kept faith in him, while Aaron Redmond’s knock-from-nowhere means that not too many experts would have had him in the playing eleven.

The bowling looks slightly toothless with the absence of Daniel Vettori, while Ian Butler looks most likely to pick up more than a proverbial wicket. The thing with Butler is that he could be a tad expensive, but that does not matter a lot for the Sports Pundit Fantasy experts; what does is that he is a wicket-taker!