Pakistan women register maiden series win over New Zealand

Published December 6, 2023
New Zealand opener Bernadine Bezuidenhout is cleaned up by Pakistan spinner Sadia Iqbal during the second T20 at the University of Otago Oval 
on Tuesday.—courtesy PCB
New Zealand opener Bernadine Bezuidenhout is cleaned up by Pakistan spinner Sadia Iqbal during the second T20 at the University of Otago Oval on Tuesday.—courtesy PCB

DUNEDIN: Pakistan women registered their first-ever series win against New Zealand when they beat the White Ferns by 10 runs in the second of Twenty20 International to take an unassailable lead on Tuesday.

The victory at the University of Otago Oval was only the second for Pakistan over the hosts, the first coming in the opening match of the three-match series. It made the side the first Asian team to beat New Zealand in a T20 series.

It was also Pakistan’s maiden series win outside Asia and Ireland.

After being asked to bat, Pakistan scored 137-6 in their allotted 20 overs, the highest score against New Zealand in this format. Opener Muneeba Ali top-scored for the side with 35 off 28 balls, hitting six fours. Player of the match, Aliya Riaz, smashed three fours and a six in her unbeaten knock of 32 off 22 balls to help her side post a respectable total.

For New Zealand, Molly Penfold and Fran Jonas bagged two wickets each.

In response, Pakistan bowlers kept it tight from the beginning, restricting the White Ferns from scoring quick runs. Nashra Sundhu, playing her 50th T20I match, bowled economically in the middle overs, conceding only 22 runs in her four overs.

Pakistan captain Nida became the joint-leading wicket-taker in women’s T20Is alongside Australia’s Megan Schutt when she dismissed Maddy Green for 18 off 23 balls, increasing her tally of scalps to 130 in the format.

The star in the bowling unit was once again pacer Fatima Sana, who gave away 22 runs and bagged three wickets, including the prized scalps of captain Sophie Devine and Suzie Bates. Left-arm spinner Sadia Iqbal grabbed two wickets for 29 runs in four overs.

The last match of the series will be played in Queenstown on Saturday.

Scores in brief:

PAKISTAN 137-6 in 20 overs (Muneeba Ali 35, Aliya Riaz 32 not out, Bismah Maroof 21; Molly Penfold 2-17, Fran Jonas 2-21); NEW ZEALAND 127-7 in 20 overs (Hannah Rowe 33, Georgia Plimmer 28, Suzie Bates 18, Maddy Green 18; Fatima Sana 3-22, Sadia Iqbal 2-29).

Published in Dawn, December 6th, 2023

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