Pakistan women overpower New Zealand in first T20I

By Our Correspondent
December 04, 2023

LAHORE: Pakistan women’s cricket team defeated New Zealand by seven wickets in the first T20I match to claim their first 20-over format win against the Kiwis here at the University of Otago Oval in Dunedin on Sunday.

Chasing 128 to win, Pakistan sailed to an easy win due to equal contributions from their man batters after displaying a remarkable show with the ball to restrict the home team to a small total despite losing the toss.

Openers Shawaal Zulfiqar and Muneeba Ali provided a solid start with a 40-run partnership. Muneeba, contributed 23 runs off 24 balls, including four boundaries, after her departure, captain Nida Dar stepped up, and formed a crucial 51-run alliance with right-hander Shawaal.

Pakistan women’s cricket team can be seen celebrating in this image during a match against New Zealand on December 3, 2023. — X/TheRealPCB_Live

Eighteen-year-old Shawaal, playing her sixth T20I, showcased her talent, smashing seven boundaries en route to her highest T20I score of 41 off 42 balls. Following Shawaal’s dismissal at the end of the 13th over with the score at 91, Nida too departed after a quick-fire 23 off 14 balls, including a four and a six.

With back-to-back dismissals, the experienced duo of Bismah Maroof and Aliya Riaz took center stage, guiding the team to a convincing victory with 10 balls remaining. Aliya remained unbeaten on 25 off 12 balls, her innings adorned with two fours and a six, the latter of which sealed the match on the second ball of the 19th over. Bismah remained unbeaten on a steady 13 off 18 balls.

Opting to bat first, New Zealand was restricted to 127 for six, thanks to a disciplined bowling performance by the touring side. Right-arm pacer Fatima Sana, who missed the Bangladesh tour due to injury, delivered a remarkable four-over spell, conceding just 18 runs and claiming three crucial wickets. Nida, Diana Baig, and Aliya chipped in with one wicket each.

For New Zealand, Maddy Green emerged as the top scorer, contributing an unbeaten 43 runs off 28 balls, including five boundaries. Meanwhile, the green shirts will now take on Whites Ferns in the second T20I on Tuesday, 5 December at the same venue, while the third and final match of the series will be played in Queenstown on Saturday, 9 December.

Brief Scores:

Pakistan women beat New Zealand women by seven wickets

New Zealand 127-6, 20 overs (Maddy Green 43 not out, Suzie Bates 28; Fatima Sana 3-18)

Pakistan 132-3, 18.2 overs (Shawaal Zulfiqar 41, Aliya Riaz 25 not out, Muneeba Ali 23, Nida Dar 23; Sophie Devine 2-23).