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Preview: T20 World Cup: Pakistan vs. Canada - prediction, team news, series so far

Sports Mole previews the 2024 T20 World Cup match between Pakistan and Canada, scheduled to be played at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium.

Pakistan find themselves in a must-win situation as they prepare to take on Canada in match 22 of the T20 World Cup at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.

The Shaheens are yet to earn a point in the competition and enter this match second-bottom in the Group A standings, while the Maple Leafers are in third place with two points in as many games.


Match preview

Pakistan's Haris Rauf celebrates taking the wicket of England's Will Jacks on June 5, 2024© Reuters

Pakistan's T20 World Cup campaign is in complete turmoil heading into game three, as they must defeat both Canada and Ireland to have a chance at advancing to the Super Eights, while also hoping that the group leaders slip up.

The Shaheens suffered arguably the biggest upset in T20 World Cup history in their first game, where they were beaten by hosts United States in a nail-biting encounter that went down to the Super Over.

Babar Azam's side then looked primed to overcome their arch-rivals India on Sunday after bowling the Men in Blue out for just 119 in 19 overs, marking India's lowest total against Pakistan in 12 T20Is since 2007.

However, the victory was not to be, as Jasprit Bumrah turned the match on its head, knocking over Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam, while Hardik Pandya bagged 2/24, restricting Pakistan to 113/7, six runs shy of their target.

Pakistan have now lost each of their last four T20 internationals, barring abandoned matches, while the only Test-playing nation they have beaten in 2024 was New Zealand on home soil back in April.

The 2024 T20 World Cup has already tossed up several shocking results, including three first-time participants earning victories, while some of the big guns have struggled to hit top gear in challenging conditions.

Canada, the lowest-ranked team in the tournament, experienced their best day in international cricket since defeating Bangladesh at the 2003 ICC Men's ODI World Cup, when they produced an all-round effort to stun Ireland by 12 runs last Friday.

The groundwork for Canada's first victory in a T20 World Cup was established by Nicholas Kirton's 49 off 35 balls, supported by Shreyas Movva, who made a workman-like 37 in 36 deliveries. The Maple Leafers were struggling at 53/4 when the duo joined forces in the ninth over, but they managed to stabilize the innings, forming a crucial 75-run partnership.

Canada's bowling lineup then got them over the line with excellent spells from Jeremy Gordon and Dillon Heylinger, who took two wickets apiece while conceding just 16 and 18 runs respectively in their four-over allotment.

Such is this format of T20 cricket that the minnows have a real chance of beating the big guns, and while very few are giving the Canadians a chance in this one, they are the side entering the contest with confidence and cannot be overlooked with Pakistan yet to find any sort of rhythm in their play.


Team News

Pakistan's Imad Wasim celebrates after taking a wicket on May 25, 2024© Reuters

Despite their struggles in this competition, Pakistan's bowling attack have fared well, with Naseem Shah and Mohammad Amir providing excellent support for Shaheen Afridi with the new ball.

Fakhar Zaman was dismissed cheaply yet again after a poor shot saw him edge the ball to Rishabh Pant behind the stumps in the last match, and his place in the middle order is likely to come under scrutiny unless he can produce a solid knock in this one.

While Canada will be over the moon with their performance in their last match, they will be hoping for bigger contributions for Aaron Johnson and Navneet Dhaliwal at the top of the order after the pair were dismissed for a total of 20 runs between them against Ireland.

Captain Saad Bin Zafar and Junaid Siddiqui both delivered economical spells of 1/22 and 1/27 in their four overs respectively last time out, although Kaleem Sana struggled with the new ball and may be given one more chance to shine before the side considers a change up front.


Pakistan squad: Babar Azam (c), Abrar Ahmed, Azam Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Abbas Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Usman Khan.15 hours ago

Canada squad: Saad Bin Zafar (c), Dilpreet Bajwa, Navneet Dhaliwal, Aaron Johnson, Nicholas Kirton, Pargat Singh, Ravinderpal Singh, Shreyas Movva (WK), Rayyan Pathan, Nikhil Dutta, Junaid Siddiqui, Jeremy Gordon, Dillon Heyliger, Rishiv Joshi, Kaleem Sana


Series so far

Pakistan

Match One: Pakistan lost the Super Over by 5 runs
Pakistan - 159/7 &13/1
USA - 159/3 & 18/1

Match Two: Pakistan lost by 6 runs
India - 119 (19)
Pakistan - 113/7 (20)

Canada

Match One: Canada lost by 7 wickets
Canada - 194/5 (20)
USA - 197/3 (17.4)

Match Two: Canada won by 12 runs
Canada - 137/7 (20)
Ireland - 125/7 (20)


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We say: Pakistan to win

Pakistan are in a do-or-die situation from here on, and based on their performances in the competition so far, winning the next two games is certainly not a given.

However, the Shaheens do have a tendency to pull off big performances when they need them the most, and while we are not expecting a blow-out here, we do feel that the Green Shirts will remain in the qualification battle by winning this match.

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England celebrate taking a wicket against Pakistan on May 25, 2024.
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