The Pakistan women’s team, led by Nida Dar, made history on Tuesday in Dunedin by defeating New Zealand for the first time in a T20I series. Pakistan retained their nerve to win the second T20I of the ongoing three-match series by defending 137 against a powerful White Ferns side in their own land.
New Zealand had only won their first T20 international match against New Zealand in the series opener on December 3rd, but they have now backed that up with a historic series victory. It was Pakistan’s first T20I series triumph outside of Asia and Ireland, and their first overseas series victory since October 2018.
Pakistan batted first and scored a competitive total, with useful contributions from the whole batting unit. Muneeba Ali, the young opener, hit a quick 35 off 28 balls, while Aliya Riaz gave a late push with her 32 off 22 deliveries. With three boundaries and a six, Aliya ensured Pakistan’s bowlers had something to work with and kept their hopes of winning the series alive.
Molly Penford demolished Pakistan’s batting order in three deliveries, dismissing Bismah Maroof and skipper Nida Dar. Pakistan were under pressure at 86 for 4 after losing two well-established hitters in the 13th over, but Aliya Riaz’s late blitz ensured the visitors did not collapse after losing their star batters.
New Zealand Women fought valiantly but only managed 127 runs for 7 wickets in 20 overs. The highlights of their chase were Hannah Rowe’s passionate 33 off 24 balls and Georgia Plimmer’s calm 28 off 28. The Pakistani bowlers, on the other hand, retained their composure, with Fatima Sana leading the charge with three key wickets for 22 runs. Sadia Iqbal provided excellent support, taking two wickets for 29 runs and ensuring that the pressure remained on the home team.
Fatima Sana has emerged as Pakistan’s hero yet again, having taken six wickets in two T20Is.
For the second game in a row, Sana took a crucial wicket of Suzie Bates. Sana’s initial burst cost New Zealand the first T20I, in which they were limited to 127 in 20 overs. Pakistan won the series opener by chasing down the score in just 18.2 overs.
With Aliya Riaz and Fatima Sana blazing on all cylinders, Pakistan will try to clinch a clean sweep of New Zealand in the third T20I on December 9 in Queenstown.