New Zealand vs Pakistan, Birmingham weather update, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Just when Pakistan looked down and out of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, the win against South Africa has given them a new lease of life and instilled the confidence they desperately craved. The fact that they put together 308 runs in the crunch game and then defended it with rather ease would have pleased coach Mickey Arthur, skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed and the rest of the unit.
Even as batting and bowling came together for Pakistan against South Africa, the fielding remained a reason for concern. "We have to work harder on fielding. Again we dropped so many catches (against South Africa), some straightforward and some half-chances. All three matches now are very crucial and we have to sort it out," said Sarfaraz after the match.
On the other end is an unbeaten New Zealand side which has been swapping places with Australia in the points table with both winning games after another. In their most recent outing, New Zealand were run close by Carlos Brathwaite, Chris Gayle and the rest but West Indies fell 5 runs short. If Brathwaite's big hit had more meat on it, Windies would have helped themselves in the World Cup and Kiwis would have faced defeat for the first time this tournament.
New Zealand will be concerned about the slow over rate. Kane Williamson could be handed a suspension if the over rate does not improve today against Pakistan.
As it stands, Pakistan are seventh in the points table with their second win of the tournament which took them to five points. New Zealand, on the other hand, with their flawless record of five wins out six (one was washed out) find themselves in the top-four.
Conditions in Birmingham on Tuesday were less than suitable for interruption-free cricket. Cloudy, rainy and thunderstorms were the order of things at Edgbaston. It is expected to get clearer today with Accuweather suggesting low clouds and an appearance by the sun during the day. The temperature is expected to hover between 10 degrees Celsius and 18 degrees Celsius.
With the game scheduled to get underway at 10.30 AM local (3 PM IST), the team winning toss would have to take cloudy conditions into consideration. The cloud cover will persist until afternoon. It will then be met by the sun peeking out from a 70 percent cloud cover.
The game will likely go about without any stoppages and we could see New Zealand qualifying for the semi-finals with a win.
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The PCB said squad members, match officials, duty doctors and security managers will be placed in bio-secure zones from the beginning of the season to ensure health and safety of players, officials and all other stakeholders.
England became the first country to hold international cricket matches during the pandemic, when they hosted the West Indies, Pakistan, Ireland and Australia between July and September.
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie had raised concerns that border controls preventing his squad training together while undergoing two weeks' quarantine would leave them under-prepared for a clash against the All Blacks.