Pakistan’s newly-appointed World Cup captain Shahid Afridi has won the toss and chosen to bowl in the sixth and final one-day cricket international against New Zealand.
Afridi was confirmed Friday as Pakistan’s captain at this month’s World Cup ahead of Misbah ul-Haq, who was left out of its lineup for Saturday’s match at Eden Park. Fast bowler Wahab Riaz was also rested allowing Asad Shafiq and Sohail Tanvir to rejoin the Pakistan team.
Ross Taylor was again named to lead New Zealand in the absence of Daniel Vettori who has a hamstring strain. Jacob Oram was injured during warmups on Saturday and conceded his place to Tim Southee while Luke Woodcock replaced Jamie How, weakening New Zealand’s batting lineup.
Pakistan took a winning 3-1 lead in the six-match series when it won the fifth match at Hamilton on Thursday. The series victory, which has boosted its confidence ahead of the World Cup, was its first in a one-day series since 2008.
“We’ve won the series but I think we still want to win this match and we want to see how the body language is in this match,” said Afridi who added he was “very happy” to have been confirmed as World Cup captain.
Taylor said New Zealand needed to win Saturday’s match to gain confidence ahead of their departure for the World Cup on Tuesday.
“Hopefully we can get a win today and take some momentum into the World Cup,” he said.