The tournament’s most consistent team against its most unpredictable one. New Zealand are unbeaten in this World Cup. Pakistan have done what Pakistan do best – they have fluttered between being indifferent and being spectacular. It makes it impossibly hard to determine which way this contest will go, and it’s the kind of uneasy excitement this tournament needs as teams begin to scrap ever more intensely for the final four spots.
A win for New Zealand should more or less take them there. Kane Williamson’s men have been outstanding across departments, led by the captain himself. Ross Taylor has been a supporting act, but an effective one at that, while Colin de Grandhomme has struck vital runs and chipped in with economical overs to complement the pace attack.
In a tournament where wrist-spinners were expected to rule, New Zealand’s performance is the ultimate proof that pace is still the order of the day.