Pakistan won the toss and decided to bat against New Zealand in the deciding fixture of the three-match One-day International series — evenly poised at 1-1 — here at the National Stadium in Karachi on Friday.
The hosts made two changes, bringing in Shan Masood — who was recently named vice captain — and Mohammad Hasnain in place of Imam-ul-Haq and Naseem Shah. New Zealand are unchanged.
The Kiwis did start the series with a loss, but read the pitch well enough to opt to bat first on Wednesday before putting Pakistan in a fix as the hosts struggled to score runs.
The context in terms of the conditions makes the decider a fixture to look forward to for the fans in Karachi, who are expected to turn out in numbers on what will be the cold weekend eve with the city’s temperature expected to drop into single figures.
The chilly weather would also mean low chances of dew and the team bowling second — like New Zealand did in the previous match — will have an advantage with spinners getting more grip.
Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Shan Masood, Babar Azam (capt), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Haris Sohail, Agha Salman, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Mohammad Hasnain, Haris Rauf
New Zealand: Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson (capt), Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham (wk), Glenn Phillips, Michael Bracewell, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson