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Rising eagle eyeing elusive Kiwi

The Eagle, fresh from its fascinating flight at the ICC Champions Trophy, has landed down under. The target in sight, this time, is that elusive kiwi that has remained a tough prey to hunt, especially, in its own backyard.

The history of ODIs between the two sides coincides with the very first ODI these two sides ever played. They were the first opponent for each other in this format. Over the years, the two sides have faced-off 98 times in this format, where Pakistan won 53 times and Kiwis came out on top 42 times. Once the contest ended in a tie and twice without any result.
Over the years, the two sides have faced-off 98 times in this format, where Pakistan won 53 times and Kiwis came out on top 42 times 
Pakistan’s slight edge in bilateral contests is primarily based on Pakistan’s dominance over the opponent in multi-team tournaments and the bilateral encounters in Pakistan.
69 of those ODIs have been played as part of bilateral series while 29 were played during multi-team tournaments. The Kiwis have their noses in front, literally, with 34 wins to Pakistan’s 32 wins in those 69 bilateral encounters (1 tie, 2 n/r).
In multi-team tournaments, however, Pakistan has simply dominated with 21 wins in comparison to 8 wins of New Zealand in 29 contests. Similarly, New Zealand’s slight edge over Pakistan in bilateral contests (34-32) is primarily due to the dominance of Kiwis over the Eagles on Kiwi soil.
New Zealand’s 26 wins, out of total 34 in bilateral ODI series with Pakistan, have come in New Zealand while they have won only 3 in Pakistan and 5 at neutral venue. In comparison, Pakistan has won 13 bilateral contests in New Zealand, 16 in Pakistan and 3 on neutral venues.
The neutral venue in this context is UAE, the adopted home of Pakistan Cricket in recent years. Hence, if those games are also counted as Pakistan’s home games, Pakistan still maintain a clear lead of 19-8 at home in comparison to New Zealand’s dominance at home with 26-13.
If the mode of measurement is changed more specifically to the results of bilateral ODI series between the two sides then it paints even more interesting picture. There have been 19 bilateral ODI series played between Pakistan and New Zealand.11 of those ODI series have been played in New Zealand, 6 in Pakistan, while 2 have been staged in UAE. Only 1 of those 19 bilateral ODI series ended in a draw (2-2 in New Zealand in 1995/96).
It may come as a surprise to some, New Zealand has won more bilateral ODI series than Pakistan. New Zealand has won 11 of those series while Pakistan managed to come out victorious on 7 occasions. Out of Pakistan’s 7 ODI series wins against the Kiwis, 5 have come at home and none at the neutral venue (UAE).
On the other hand, New Zealand has won 8 out of 11 ODI series at home, 1 out of 6 in Pakistan and 2 out of 2 in UAE.New Zealand’s only series win against Pakistan in Pakistan came in the very first bilateral series of the two sides in Pakistan, back in 1976/77 when the visitors won the 1 match series 1-0. The two teams have played 2 ODI series in UAE, both won by New Zealand.
Pakistan managed to defeat New Zealand in New Zealand in an ODI series only twice – once when Pakistan’s World Champion side defeated New Zealand 3-1 in 1993/94 and then just before the 2011 World Cup when Pakistan beat New Zealand 3-2 in New Zealand.
Since the last time these two sides met in an ODI series, in New Zealand in 2015/16, New Zealand has played 8 bilateral ODI series while Pakistan has participated in 6.During this period, Pakistan, played 4 away series – against Ireland, England, Australia and West Indies – winning against Ireland and West Indies.
Meanwhile, New Zealand played 5 home series – two against Australia, one against Bangladesh, South Africa and West Indies each – and managed to win all except against South Africa. In a nutshell, Pakistan hasn’t won anything notable away from home while New Zealand hasn’t lost much at home.
8-2 and 26-13 (New Zealand’s tally in bilateral ODI Series and ODIs respectively) simply goes to show how elusive the win against New Zealand in New Zealand has been for Pakistan. This is one elusive kiwi that the eagle has failed to tame often enough. Would this contingent of eagles be able to tame the kiwis this time? Only time will tell. The eagle is on the rise, again.
Just recently, from the one being in danger of missing out the direct qualification for the next World Cup, they flew to the top of the world. Nothing looks undoable for this pack of eagles. Will they succeed? May the luck be on the best side’s side.

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