New Zealand snapped a seven-match losing streak – their longest-ever in T20Is – with their first win in the ICC Women’s World T20 2018.
After their exit from the tournament was confirmed when India beat Ireland earlier, they salvaged some pride with a team effort to inspire a 54-run win.
New Zealand’s top four scored 122 of the 144-6 they posted without any player getting to fifty. While they did not finish as well as they might have hoped, the runs proved enough despite the best efforts of Pakistan captain Javeria Khan.
Khan lit up Pakistan’s chase briefly but brightly, hitting six boundaries in the powerplay to give New Zealand some early jitters. She braved an opening spell from Lea Tahuhu, who bowled the fastest ball of the tournament at 126km/h, and used the horizontal bat shots to good effect, helping Pakistan take 27 runs in the second and third overs. Pakistan were 49-2 at the end of the six overs, with Khan’s contribution 34.
Needing 96 runs off the remaining 84 balls, the rest of the Pakistan batters could not provide Khan the support she needed. The introduction of off-spinner Jess Watkin took the life out of Pakistan’s challenge, as she removed their two best batters in consecutive overs. First to go was Bismah Mahroof, caught-behind off a defensive prod, followed by the big wicket of Khan (36 off 23 balls, six fours) after feathering a reverse sweep into the keeper’s gloves.
Pakistan’s lack of batting depth meant that they kept losing wickets regularly until they were all out for 90 off 18 overs.
Earlier, New Zealand’s innings lacked a single big performance, but four batters made significant contributions to prop up their total. Three partnerships came at more than a run-a-ball, the biggest of which was 59 off 51 from openers Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine.
Reunited at the top of the order, Bates and Devine hit only four fours in the powerplay but ran well to take 39 runs from the first six overs. Nida Dar was Pakistan’s most impressive bowler, breaking the opening partnership when she had Bates caught and bowled for 35 off 31 balls (five fours).
Devine (32 off 31 balls, two fours, one six) was dismissed in the 13th over by an excellent catch on the boundary from Nashra Sandhu, who maintained her balance as it seemed the ball would sail over her for six. Amy Satterthwaite (26 off 28, one four) then joined the in-form Katie Martin (29 off 24 balls, two fours, one six) and added 37, before both were dismissed during an innings blip that saw four wickets fall for 13 runs in the last two overs of the innings.
The late slump meant that New Zealand scored only 70 runs from their last 10 overs, and failed to double their halfway score.
New Zealand will play their final game against Ireland on Saturday.
Photo: Jan Kruger-IDI/IDI via Getty Images