Off the back of their practice match success against the UAE, New Zealand’s cricketers are set to bring their A-game to Zayed Cricket Stadium on 31 October for their series opener against Pakistan. Abu Dhabi is set for another fiery display of world-class cricket as the two teams clash for victory. Fresh from wins in both the long and short format against Australia, Pakistan are looking to continue their form and stamp dominance over the Kiwis in the opening match of New Zealand’s tour of the UAE.

Having pulled apart Australia’s middle order, the young Shadab Khan is preparing for repeat business on the New Zealand batting order, whilst Sahibzada Farhan and Babar Azam will look to recreate the magic they conjured in Dubai with an opening partnership of 93 against the Australians in T20i format.

New Zealand, captained by Kane Williamson, will however be wanting to make their mark in the UAE and will push back against an assertive and in-form Pakistan. In spite of being ranked as the fifth best T20i side in the world, the Black Caps will be looking to cause some early damage against the Pakistani ‘home away from home’ team, who have cemented their number one T20i ranking after their last series.

The Kiwis have had a good start to their campaign having won their warm up T20i against the UAE National team on Sunday by 38 runs, and are no doubt looking forward to their face-off with Pakistan.

Williamson, talking ahead of the T20i match, said: “Taking on the number one T20i team in the world in their own conditions is an awesome challenge and one we’re excited about.

“We’ve had some great series against Pakistan in the past and we’re looking forward to another.”

With the promise of two strong cricketing sides going head-to-head, as well as the usual entertainment offerings, thousands of fans are expected to attend tomorrow’s match at Zayed Cricket Stadium. With tickets selling fast, both teams have urged their fans to get their seats booked ahead of the big night.

Matt Boucher, acting CEO of Abu Dhabi Cricket, said: “Pakistan are in fantastic shape at the moment in all forms of the game, so it will be exciting to see them, along with their army of fans, at the stadium this week.

“Moreover, I’m delighted to welcome the New Zealand team to the UAE; yet another world-class team is set to play at our stadium.

“It’s provided us with yet another opportunity to showcase the world-class facilities Zayed Cricket Stadium and Abu Dhabi boasts allowing us to host some of the world’s best teams and matches, especially ahead of major events such as the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2019.

“I look forward to seeing the Kiwis and Pakistani community from across the UAE join us on Wednesday night for the first game in the New Zealand tour that I’m sure won’t disappoint!”

Gates open at 6pm, with play beginning at 8pm. Tickets can be bought from UAE Exchange, Al Ghurair Exchange, Al Fardan Exchange, KM Trading, as well as q-tickets.com.


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