Fast bowler Yasir Shah has been called for the remaining matches © AFP

Dec 14, 2014

Pakistan take on New Zealand in the third One-Day International (ODI) at Sharjah with the series tied at 1-1. New Zealand should feel settled with their opening combination after the pair of Anton Devcich and Dean Brownline stitched a match-defining 100-run stand, which was the first of its kind by a Kiwi opening pair in the last three years. Their only area of concern remains the form of their two power-hitting all-rounders, Corey Anderson and Jimmy Neesham, who have been off-colour with the bat on the slow, low surfaces of the UAE, while their bowling has not inspired much confidence either.

Pakistan on the other hand will be captained by Shahid Afridi in the absence of their regular captain Misbah-ul-Haq.  Pakistan may finally be compelled to move up Sarfraz Ahmed  up, considering his form and the three outings against Australia in which he opened and got scores of 34, 64 and 32. He may well be their best bet for the position of opener to partner Mohammad Hafeez. Fast bowler Yasir Shah has been called-up for the remaining matches.

The Sharjah pitch offered a little something to everybody in the second ODI. It had some Juice early for the Kiwi bowlers, who exploited it to their advantage; the ball slid on to the bat generally and it took turn as the match progressed. But dew took effect in the closing stages of the match, a factor the two captains will take into serious consideration come the third ODI.

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