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New Zealand to Bat First in T20I Clash Against Pakistan in Rawalpindi

In the first of five T20I matches against Pakistan at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, New Zealand opted to bat first.

The match, set for today, sees Pakistan, under newly-appointed skipper Babar Azam, facing off against Michael Bracewell’s Black Caps. The series marks the third five-match encounter between the teams in a year. Pakistan and New Zealand drew their series last year, while the Black Caps won 4-1 earlier this year.

Both teams aim to prepare for the 2024 T20I World Cup. Pakistan has a slight edge in T20Is, with 21 wins against New Zealand’s 17. Mohammad Amir and Imad Wasim may return from retirement, while Usman Khan and Muhammad Irfan Khan could debut after impressive performances in the Pakistan Super League (PSL 9).

Babar Azam emphasized the series’ importance for Pakistan’s preparation for the upcoming mega-event, acknowledging New Zealand’s challenge. Bracewell expressed his team’s intent to play entertaining cricket and pose challenges to Pakistan in their home conditions.

The match was set to commence in the evening around 7:30 pm with the toss scheduled at 7 pm.

However, it was pertinent to know that today’s match, along with future ones, might have been affected due to rain as the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) had predicted rains in Rawalpindi starting that day until April 21st.

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