New Zealand's Martin Guptill hits a four against Pakistan on Wednesday. Photo: Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers
New Zealand's Martin Guptill hits a four against Pakistan on Wednesday. Photo: Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers
Pakistan and New Zealand fans pose for a photograph before the match on Wednesday. Photo:   Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers
Pakistan and New Zealand fans pose for a photograph before the match on Wednesday. Photo: Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

BIRMINGHAM – New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the toss and chose to bat in the World Cup match against Pakistan at Edgbaston on Wednesday.

Overnight rain had left the outfield wet, which delayed the scheduled 10:30 am (0930 GMT) start by an hour but the umpires decided the match would remain at 50 overs per side.

New Zealand, who are second on the 10-team table with 11 points, kept the same team for the fifth match in a row.

Pakistan, who are seventh in the table with five points, also kept faith with the team that beat South Africa at Lord's on Sunday.

If New Zealand win they will join title holders Australia in the semi-finals.

“The cloud is going to hang about a bit and it's cold. There might be a bit of swing but we'll have a bat,” said Williamson.

“There was consideration to making some changes but we've kept it the same again. This is always a tough game. Pakistan are a very strong side but we are looking to build on our displays.

“Naturally the support that Pakistan have, gives a great atmosphere, we are looking forward to it. Every game has similar feelings riding on it - we are looking to play the cricket we want.”

New Zealand's Kane Williamson during a #CWC19 press conference. Photo: Andrew Boyers
New Zealand's Kane Williamson during a #CWC19 press conference. Photo: Andrew Boyers

Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed said he would also have chosen to bat first.

“Mohammad Amir is bowling very well. We put in a complete team performance last time but our catching is a concern. Pakistan can do anything, we go match by match.”

The teams are:

Pakistan - Sarfaraz Ahmed (captain), Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Hafeez, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Shaheen Shah Afridi 

New Zealand - Kane Williamson (captain), Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Trent Boult, James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry 

Umpires: Paul Reiffel (AUS) and Bruce Oxenford (AUS) 

Match referee: Richie Richardson (WIS)

Agence France-Presse (AFP)