Pakistan to take on confident New Zealand today in final ODI of three-match series

Pakistan has not lost an ODI series against New Zealand on home turf since 1977

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NZ wicketkeeper Tom Latham (L) stumps Pakistan´s captain Babar Azam (R) during the 2nd ODI.— AFP
NZ wicketkeeper Tom Latham (L) stumps Pakistan´s captain Babar Azam (R) during the 2nd ODI.— AFP
  • Toss to play huge role in today's game.
  • New Zealand defeated Pakistan in second ODI by 79 runs.
  • Series hangs in the balance with 1-1.

KARACHI: Pakistan looks to maintain their strong home record against New Zealand as they take on the visitors in the third and final one day international (ODI) of the three-match series at the National Stadium today (Friday).

The series hangs in the balance with 1-1.

Barring a one-off ODI match series in 1976-77, Pakistan has not lost an ODI series against the Kiwis on its home turf. This would also be the fourth consecutive series win for the Green Shirts if they beat New Zealand in the final ODI today. Last year Pakistan won the home series against Australia 2-1 and West Indies 3-0 before beating the Netherlands 3-0 at their home.

On Wednesday, New Zealand handed Pakistan a comprehensive defeat by 79 runs to level the series. Devon Conway (101) and skipper Kane Williamson (85) shared a 181-run stand for the second wicket which helped the visitors reach 261. However, the New Zealand team suffered a collapse in the middle overs, losing their final eight wickets inside 65 runs. Mohammad Nawaz bowled amazingly for his 4-38 to halt NZ's march towards a huge target.

However, Pakistan never looked in control right from the start and was folded well short of the target. Skipper Babar Azam (79) and Mohammad Rizwan (28) added 55 for the third wicket, but after them, things evaded Pakistan’s grip in the wake of the mounting asking run rate on a pitch which offered help to the spinners, especially under floodlights.

Toss may play a part today as well, as bowlers have gotten significant bounce and turn under floodlights on both outings. Dew played a part in the first game but not in the second.

After the second ODI, Kiwi all-rounder Mitchell Santner said they are not sure about the behaviour of the surface in the third ODI.

He added, “it was nice to win this game but we know that there would be another wicket, which could be similar, could be different and we are not sure. Pakistan is a quality side and it's nice to go into the last game, a decider.”

Pakistani all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz has said that they would try to 'win the series'.

Both teams opted to rest on January 12.