Pallekele, Sep 22: New Zealand, fresh after thrashing Bangladesh at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Friday evening, would look forward to win the next Group D clash against Pakistan at the same venue on Sunday evening, to keep up their momentum.
Brendon McCullum, given his current form can be dangerous against any team, if he can tackle Saeed Ajmal the battle is half won.
Pakistan with their 'unpredictable' tag, can come good anytime against any line-up. Though they haven't been very impressive in the warm-up matches, they defeated India by 5 wickets, which would have served as a morale booster for the team, though they lost against England in the second warm-up match.
With Saeed Ajmal being quite consistent with his performance, looks like the rookie will be a bowler to watch out for in the game against New Zealand and the rest of the tournament, as it is difficult to read his deliveries.
Apart from Pakistan's bowling, batting seems to be inconsistent while the fielding is also not great, the team has all the abilites to surprise the opponents.
Pakistan's batting looks good on paper with Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Nasir Jamshed, Imran Nazir, Kamran Akmal but the concern is about consistency.
While its the same with bowlers, except Ajmal none of them have created an impact so far.
New Zealand on the other hand, face similar issues, as their batting sorely depends on Brendon McCullum, Martin Guptill, James Franklin and Ross Taylor.
While a few aren't amongst runs, the burden of scoring runs is on McCullum especially after his magnificent ton against Bangladesh on Friday.
Moreover, Tim Southee, Kyle Mills performed very well in the opener against Bangladesh, pose a threat to Pakistan as well.
With both the teams facing similar worries, it is definitely going to be a cracker of a contest on a Sunday.
Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez (Captain), Imran Nazir, Nasir Jamshed, Kamran Akmal (wicketkeeper), Asad Shafiq, Shoaib Malik, Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi, Yasir Arafat, Umar Akmal, Saeed Ajmal, Raza Hasan, Umar Gul, Mohammad Sami, Sohail Tanvir.
New Zealand: Ross Taylor (Captain), Martin Guptill, Rob Nicol, Brendon McCullum, Kane Williamson, BJ Watling (wicketkeeper), James Franklin, Jacob Oram, Nathan McCullum, Daniel Vettori, Kyle Mills, Doug Bracewell, Tim Southee, Ronnie Hira, Adam Milne.
Match starts at 3:30 PM (IST)
Another match; India Vs England, R Premadasa Stadium, starts at 7:30 PM