Pak vs NZ: Match at risk of washout as rain likely to play spoilsport

Pakistan who are leading 2-1 seek to clinch T20I series against New Zealand today in Rawalpindi

Sports Desk
A general view of a stadium ground covered with sheets to prevent damage from rain. — AFP/File
A general view of a stadium ground covered with sheets to prevent damage from rain. — AFP/File

  • Pakistan will be pressing hard to win fourth T20I if they take on Kiwis today.
  • Action shifts to Rawalpindi which offers threatening weather. 
  • No training session held because of rain and condition of ground.

As Pakistan seek to clinch the T20I series against New Zealand today, the crucial match for the home side is at risk of a washout as threatening weather is likely to play spoilsport in Rawalpindi, The News reported. 

The Men in Green are leading the five-match series by 2-1 and therefore will be pressing hard to win the 4th T20I and secure the series before the last game.

The hosts won the first two T20Is with New Zealand coming back relatively well to keep the series alive by winning the third T20I following a nail-biting finish in Lahore. The action has now shifted to Pindi Stadium, where the fate of the series will be decided.

Despite a batting-friendly track, weather in the twin cities which already disturbed the preparations for the fourth T20I as there is a forecast of downpours.

Thunderstorms, lightning and rain lashed the twin cities Wednesday evening, making it difficult for teams to leave the hotels for the scheduled training session. The scheduled training session had to be cancelled because of persistent evening rain.

“No training session was possible today because of rain and condition of the ground,” the team management said. The other interesting aspect is the possibility of the Chand Raat falling on Thursday evening and hence Friday’s Eid depending on the sighting of Shawwal moon.

The addition of Mickey Arthur to the Pakistan camp, though for a couple of days, has already given a fresh look to the team’s preparation.

“Mickey spent a busy Tuesday evening and Wednesday where he was seen discussing different aspects of training and preparations with the coaching staff and senior players,” one of the team officials privy to the meeting said.

Arthur’s consultation with the team think-tank was more focused on the series and other events in a run-up to the October World Cup to be held in India.

Pindi Stadium has already produced some stunning run-scoring tracks with the visiting England team and later the Pakistan Super League participants making full use of opportunities offered to them.

Things will not be much different this time around as the surface at the Pindi Stadium is expected to offer an exciting run scoring flare for the batters. At the same time the overcast and rainy weather that is expected for Thursday could well see pace and seam bowlers getting something out of the wicket.

Pakistan camp is contemplating giving lanky Ishanullah the opportunity to flex his muscles. The speedster has already made a huge impact on international cricket during the series against Afghanistan at Sharjah where he at times looked unplayable. With the wicket at the Pindi Stadium having proper bounce, his inclusion could be ideal for the occasion.

Ihsanullah could replace Naseem Shah who was drafted in place of Zaman Khan for the third T20 at the Gaddafi Stadium. Meanwhile, Mohammad Rizwan has already regained fitness from the back problems he faced during the second T20.