Cricket

Ahmed aiming to cement T20 dominance against NZ

2018-10-30 18:35
Sarfraz Ahmed (Getty Images)

Abu Dhabi - Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed vowed that his all-conquering Twenty20 team will continue their hot streak in their three-match series against New Zealand, starting in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

Pakistan maintained top spot in the 20-over world rankings with a 3-0 whitewash of Australia in Dubai on Sunday, cementing their place as the leading lights of the game's shortest format.

Ever since Sarfraz took over as captain Pakistan have won 26 of their 30 matches and the hammering of Australia was their tenth straight series win.

"We want to carry forward the winning momentum of the Australia series," said Sarfraz, who announced Shoaib Malik will join the team in time for the match soon after becoming a father.

Malik's tennis star wife Sania Mirza gave birth to a baby boy in India early on Tuesday.

However opener Fakhar Zaman is still sidelined with the knee problem that forced him to sit out Sunday's game against Australia in Dubai.

Sarfraz admitted New Zealand, two points behind Australia in the world rankings having played three fewer matches, will be a tougher opponent.

"They (New Zealand) have a strong team with ideal batsmen for Twenty20 and a balanced bowling attack so we need to set the tone from the first game by winning it," said Sarfraz, whose team has won 10 of their 18 previous Twenty20 internationals against New Zealand.

Pakistan's varied bowling attack defended totals of 155, 147 and 150 against Australia but New Zealand's top order of Colin Munro, skipper Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor are expected to be a sterner test than Australia's mis-firing batsmen.

Munro is one of only two batsmen to hit three Twenty20 hundreds alongside India's Rohit Sharma.

New Zealand also have hard hitting all-rounders in Corey Anderson and Colin de Grandhomme, with pace attack spearheaded by Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson and Adam Milne.

Williamson said his team needed to be at their best to beat the top team.

"Obviously, Pakistan are a strong side," said Williamson.

"That's something we've known for a long time. The last time we played against them was at home in New Zealand and it was a tough series," added Williamson of the January series Pakistan won 2-1.

"They are extremely strong in these conditions. Their rankings suggest that as well. They have had a lot of success in the format in recent times."

Williamson admitted opener Martin Guptill, out of the tour with a calf strain, will be missed.

"It's a shame we don't have Martin for this series," said Williamson of Guptill, who is the highest run scorer in the format with 2271 in 75 matches.

"He's obviously a world class player for us and a big performer."

The remaining two matches will be played in Dubai on Friday and Sunday. The two teams will also play three Tests and one-day internationals.

Team:

Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Sahibzada Farhan, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usman Khan Shanwari, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Faheem Ashraf

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (captain), Corey Anderson, Mark Chapman, Lockie Ferguson, Colin de Grandhomme, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Ajaz Patel, Glenn Phillips, Seth Rance, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor

Umpires: Shozab Raza (Pak) and Asif Yaqoob (Pak)

Tv umpire: Rashid Riaz(Pak)

Match referee: Javagal Sriniath (IND)

Read more on:    pakistan  |  new zealand  |  sarfraz ahmed  |  cricket
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
Vote

The 12-month ban handed down to Steve Smith and David Warner and the 9-month sanction for Cameron Bancroft for their ball-tampering roles, is ...

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.