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For the better part of a month, New Zealand and Pakistan have been fighting it out in an entertaining series.
It began with two Test matches which went down to the wire, both ending in a draw as the Pakistani light faded on the fifth day. With the Test series a 0-0 draw, all eyes turned to the ODI series to determine who would walk away from this tour with their heads held high. Now, after two matches, the two teams still can’t be split with the score at 1-1.
With the final ODI playing out on Friday, we look at which team has the best chance of winning the series, and which bets to make ahead of the first ball being bowled.
New Zealand Overcome Collapse to Force Series Decider
Two hours into the second ODI between Pakistan and New Zealand, it looked like the Black Caps would cruise to victory.
After losing Finn Allen in the first over yet again, Devon Conway and Kane Williamson combined for an excellent 181 run partnership off 29.1 overs. With Conway having made three figures and Williamson not far behind, the Kiwis looked poised for a mammoth score—thoughts even flickered towards whether they could rival India’s 373 scored the day before against Sri Lanka.
That is, until Conway fell for 101 off 92. Daryl Mitchell and Tom Latham came and went for single digit scores in the following overs, before Williamson also fell for 85 off 100. What started as a little hiccup in New Zealand’s journey to 350+ became a major roadblock, as Glenn Phillips, Michael Bracewell, Ish Sodhi and Tim Southee also fell rapidly for less than 10. Only Mitchell Santner contributed, making 37 off 40 as New Zealand crumbled from 183/1 to 261 all out.
Thankfully, New Zealand didn’t need the extra runs. Pakistan were woeful outside of Babar Azam’s 79, with six New Zealand bowlers picking up wickets to skittle the home side for 182, sealing a 79 run victory and taking this series to a decider.
Best Bets to Make on Pakistan vs New Zealand Third ODI
As it has been the past month, bookies are finding it virtually impossible to split these two sides. Here’s what the outright betting odds are looking like ahead of the Pakistan vs New Zealand Third ODI:
- Pakistan to win @ 4/5 (1.80)
- New Zealand to win @ 1/1 (2.00)
While New Zealand are slight underdogs, we think they’re a good bet to grit their teeth and get the result on Friday. Pakistan have had a torrid home summer, and New Zealand have a reputation recently of winning their clutch games overseas. As well as backing New Zealand to win, we see a wager on Finn Allen to come right being an excellent bet here.
Finn Allen to Be New Zealand’s Top Batter @ 5/1 (6.00)
Allen is one of the more mercurial batsmen in the Kiwi team. Typically, one of three things happen when he walks out to the middle—he’ll come back after a few balls, having got out cheaply; he’ll score a rapid 20-30 runs, then flame out; or, he’ll win a match singly handedly by scoring 80+ at a strike rate of 180+.
Last match, Allen got out in the first over. The game before, he flashed 29 runs before throwing his wicket away. This match, we say he’ll go big and be the match winner for New Zealand. It’s well overdue, and will provide an excellent return for those who back the opener.