Pakistan played some exceptional cricket today, coming back from a not-so-satisfying series against Bangladesh. The team has conveniently secured the first match of their New Zealand tour, chasing down the required runs.
What led to Pakistan’s incredible win over New Zealand, breaking their loss streak against New Zealand in a T20I is Fatima Sana’s 3 important wickets followed by some crucial run contributions from Shawal Zulfiqur. The match has duly helped them overcome their previous low patch as fans expect similar performances in future games.
New Zealand on the other hand, despite giving their absolute best, are off to a low start to the series. The guests have defeated them in the first game and they will now wish to come back stronger. Winning the toss, New Zealand made a decision to bat first, which wasn’t expected by many.
Bernadine Bezuidenhout and Suzie Bates opened bat. The two played some decent shots, giving the team an expected start. Bezuidenhout was lost right after the power-play, but Bates held ground and played alongside Kate Anderson.
Fatima Sana played brilliant overs in the beginning. She bowled exceptionally well, picking 3 major wickets in the form of Bernadine Bezuidenhout in the 6th over, Anderson in the 8th over and Bates in the 10th over. Bates’ wicket was crucial for both sides. Her in-form batting was a strength for New Zealand, but in 10 overs’ time, the New Zealand team was off for 59/3, having lost 3 major batters.
With Sophie Devine and Maddy Green coming into bat, the two gave the team the required momentum. Green’s 43-run contribution was of utmost importance given the wickets they had lost. Green played a perfect game for a middle-order batter, hitting strokes and securing 43 runs in just 28 deliveries at a strike rate of 158.
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) December 3, 2023
Hannah Rowe played the last few runs and led the team to a total score of 127 for a loss of 6 wickets. An easy target for Pakistan to chase. With 20 overs in hand, Pakistan had to make sure to hold their wickets for as long as possible, to chase the score down.
Sana had picked 3 wickets and was backed by the single wickets taken by bowlers like Nida Dar, Diana Baig and Aliya Riaz.
Muneeba Ali and Shawaal Zulfiqar opened the bat. Shawal held the pitch much longer in comparison to Muneeba and she helped the team gain the required momentum, while also laying the foundation for a successful chase. Muneeba scored 23 off 24 deliveries until she was caught on Sophie Devine’s delivery.
Nida Dar contributed major runs alongside Zulfiqar and the two led the team closer to the target. Zulfiqar secured 41 runs in 42 deliveries, playing a reliable game and securing maximum runs for the team.
Bismah Maroof and Aliya Riaz later sealed the game for Pakistan as they both secured the last few runs, playing at impressive strike rates. Riaz indeed played a brilliant game, securing 25 runs in just 12 deliveries at a strike rate of 200+ for her team. This helped Pakistan secure the game early in just 18.2 overs and secure their very first victory over New Zealand.
The grand victory of Pakistan has added another feather of laurel to their glorious hats. Some chic bowling performances from Sophie Devine and Eden Carson. Pakistan won the game by 7 wickets with 10 deliveries to spare. Fatima Sana was named the Player of the Match.
Brief Scores: New Zealand vs Pakistan 1st T20I
New Zealand 127/6 (Maddy Green 43 (28), Fatima Sana 3/18) lost to Pakistan 132/3 (Shawaal Zulfiqar 41 (42), Sophie Devine 2/23) by 7 wickets.