Pakistan, looking to regain some form, had a lot to prove. This match served as a warning to the White Ferns, that the underdogs have started to improve. A new captain and a new coach have played a crucial role in the commendable performance.
But such a strong world-class team like the White Ferns didn’t have much to offer except than stick to basics. New Zealand started with a promising note. The first wicket partnership contributed 65 runs as the captain Suzie Bates departed for 36 runs. Amy Satterthwaite was the next player in, but could only contribute 20 in a partnership of 56 runs.
Then the wickets fell at frequent intervals, it was looking like the White Ferns were going to fall short. Amelia Kerr played a valuable inning of 30 runs, coming in down the order. Sophie Devine played a much- required knock to help her team set 241.
The former captain, Sana Mir took three crucial wickets that turned the match in their favor. Javeria Khan, Sadia Yousuf contributed to the downfall of the New Zealand batting taking two wickets each. Nashra Sandhu and Bismah Maroof also took one wicket each. It was a commendable bowling performance by the Pakistan bowlers that kept the batsman in check. Pakistan gave a strong chase to the target.
The match was in favor of the Pakistan side requiring them to score at just over five an over. Both the teams had to hold their nerve in this thrilling match. When Ayesha Zafar was out for a twelve-ball duck, it did not look good for Pakistan.
But a strong partnership was built between Nahida Khan and All-rounder Javeria Khan both scored half-centuries. Next came in Bismah Maroof who played a captain’s innings as the scores were neck and neck.
Sidra Ameen too played a vital inning that kept Pakistan on course for the win. After the set batsman was out, wickets fell at frequent intervals, this did little to help Pakistan’s cause as the boundaries began to become harder to score. Although Imran Javid hit the only six of the innings, it wasn’t enough to help Pakistan reach the target.
With the pressure of the chase meant that Pakistan lost three wickets to run outs in the last two overs, as the White ferns emerged victoriously. Kerr, Holly Huddleston, and Leigh Kasperek took two wickets each and Thamsyn Newton and Satterthwaite each took one wicket.
The player of the match award was given to Sophie Devine for her brilliant knock of 103 of 119 balls. The highlight of the match was the way the game of cricket is transforming, and the way underdogs responded to nearly beat the former champions.