World Cup: Pakistan chalking out plans for high-flying Kiwis

The Sarfaraz Ahmed-led side will have a mountain to climb against a rampaging New Zealand, which is unbeaten in the tournament and needs one win to confirm a last-four berth.

Pakistan fast bowler Wahab Riaz discusses strategies at a training session at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Tuesday.   -  AFP

 

Riding high on confidence after a much-needed win over South Africa, a buoyant Pakistan will take on New Zealand in a World Cup fixture at Edgbaston on Wednesday.

With two wins and three losses, Pakistan has five points in six games and needs to win all its remaining three fixtures to retain any chances of making it to the semifinals.

The Sarfaraz Ahmed-led side will have a mountain to climb against a rampaging New Zealand, which is unbeaten in the tournament and needs one win to confirm a last-four berth.

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With Kane Williamson leading from the front, New Zealand has comfortably dealt with all the challenges – including those faced in the two close encounters against South Africa and the West Indies.

Seasoned campaigner Ross Taylor, too, has been among the runs, but opening remains an area of concern as Colin Munro and Martin Guptill are yet to capitalise on their good starts.

Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson have marshalled the bowling unit with all-rounders Jimmy Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme lending a helping hand.

New Zealand fast bowler Trent Boult.   -  AFP

 

Pakistan will pin its hopes on pace ace Mohammad Amir, who has 15 wickets, to lead the attack in the able company of Wahab Riaz and Shadab Khan.

Pakistan all-rounder Imad Wasim on a high at the training session.   -  AFP

 

Haris Sohail’s return to the team has provided a fillip to its batting as he registered a 59-ball 89 to lay the foundation for the team’s victory against South Africa.

Pakistan’s fielding, however, has been below par as it was guilty of dropping six catches against South Africa.

Though it rained in Birmingham on Tuesday, the weather is expected to stay clear, offering the fans the pleasure of a full encounter.