Kane Williamson scored a ton in the last game © Getty Images (File Photo)
Kane Williamson scored a ton in the last game © Getty Images (File Photo)

By Amit Banerjee

Dec 18, 2014

Pakistan and New Zealand face off in the fifth and final One-Day International (ODI) at the Sheikh Zyed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Thursday. The two sides are currently at a deadlock with two wins each in the game so far, and the platform is set for an exciting showdown to take place in the final encounter.

The fourth game between the two sides saw New Zealand pull off a thriller of a victory in the last over, maintaining their nerves till the very last ball. The visitors had earlier put up their best performance of the series so far, notching up a total that was just shy of the 300-run mark by a run. The batting department was topped by skipper Kane Williamson, who scored an impressive 123 off 105 deliveries. The New Zealand top-order helped lay the foundation for the big score with opener Martin Guptill scoring a half-century. Though Pakistan lost a lot of wickets throughout the course of their innings, they were within striking distance towards the end of the chase. Younis Khan had earlier consolidated his position in the side with a fine century that helped break a brief lean spell with the bat.

For the upcoming final one-dayer, the Kiwis might want to stick to the batting order that was used in the previous game. In the bowling unit, Williamson might want to take a look at Mitchell McClenaghan’s figures in the last couple of ODIs, and consider the possibility of the presence of Kyle Mills in the side.

Ahmed Shehzad had scored a century in the previous game, cannot afford any loose shots in the crunch game and let his team down. Among the bowlers, Sohail Tanvir’s act of conceding a barrage of runs might force skipper Misbah-ul-Haq to bring in a spinner, especially someone like Yasir Shah.

Squads:

Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Asad Shafiq, Bilawal Bhatti, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Irfan, Nasir, Jamshed, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Shahid Afridi (c), Sohail Tanvir, Umar Akmal, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Younis Khan, Zulfiqar Babar.

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Corey Anderson, Dean Brownlie, Anton Devcich, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Ross Taylor, Daniel Vettori.

Time:  15.00 (UAE) | 11.00 (GMT) | 16.30 (IST)

(Amit Banerjee, a reporter at CricketCountry, takes keen interest in photography, travelling, technology, automobiles, food and, of course, cricket. He can be followed on Twitter via his handle @akb287)