Pakistan and New Zealand are set to faceoff in the first T20I of the three-match series in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. The Men in Green will go into the series full of confidence after registering an impressive 3-0 rout of Australia in their last assignment in the 20-over format.
In the batting department, the team will be relying on in-form Babar Azam to lead from the front, more so in the absence of his regular opening partner Fakhar Zaman, who will miss the first game due to injury. In the bowling department, the onus will be on spin duo of Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan to deliver the knockout punch to the opposition.
On the other hand, the Black Caps will be coming into this series having played no international cricket over the last seven months. In the batting department, the team will be heavily relying on captain Kane Williamson and veteran middle-order batsman Ross Taylor to score bulk of the runs, whereas in the bowling department, the team management will be hoping pacers Tim Southee and Adam Milne will provide early breakthroughs.
Shiekh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi is a place which is common for international cricket, hosting 81 T20I matches, the last of which was between Pakistan and Australia a week ago, when Sarfraz Ahmed-led unit emerged victorious by 66 runs. Highest score at the venue in T20Is of 225-7 was registered by Ireland in the match against Afghanistan in 2013-14, whereas the lowest score of 87 was