Spin twins Kerr and Watkin lead New Zealand to their first win

Maryam Mallick
New Update
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With India and Australia having qualified from their group, the clash between Pakistan and New Zealand was more about pride than anything else. It was New Zealand who emerged victorious, registering a whopping 52-run win over Pakistan.

Batting first, New Zealand posted a competitive total of 144-6 on the board. Suzie Bates opened the batting with Sophie Devine, who returned to the top of the order. The two experienced internationals got their side off to a solid start, scoring 39 runs in the Power Play, without the loss of any wickets. The 59-run partnership between the two meant they became the most prolific opening pair in women's T20 Internationals. They now have eight 50+ opening partnerships, which is more than any other pair. Bates top-scored with 31-ball-35 before she was caught and bowled by Nida Dar. Skipper Amy Satterthwaite then joined Devine at the crease. Satterthwaite took her time to adapt to the conditions while Devine kept the scoreboard ticking over.

Devine was dismissed for 32 off 31 balls, caught brilliantly by Nashra Sandhu just inches away from the boundary. Katey Martin came to the crease after the fall of Devine's wicket but, both she and Satterthwaite struggled to find the boundary towards the end of the innings. Looking to go big, Satterthwaite stepped out of the crease and was stumped by Sidra Nawaz in the 19th over. Martin then hit Sana Mir for a maximum, followed by a boundary in the same over. It was Mir who had the last laugh though, as she claimed Martin's wicket with the final ball of her spell.

The responsibility of bowling the last over was given to Aliya Riaz. She picked up two wickets from her first two deliveries but,missed out on a hat-trick. New Zealand lost 4-13 towards the end of the innings which restricted them to 144-5. While it was a competitive total, they did not fully exploit the start Devine and Bates gave them. New Zealand's total was helped by some sloppy fielding on Pakistan's part as they gave overthrows and conceded 12 extras.

Riaz and Mir both took two wickets each. Riaz was more economical of the two, conceding 29 runs, while Mir proved expensive, leaking 35 runs. Nida Dar and Aiman Anwar also chipped in with a wicket each.

Pakistan were desperate to end their campaign on a high and started their chase off accordingly. Their openers Javeria Khan and Ayesha Zafar showed positive intent early, taking 13 runs of the second over, bowled by Devine. The following over by Amelia Kerr went for 14 runs. The Pakistani openers looked threatening but, New Zealand retaliated, claiming two wickets in quick succession; those of Ayesha Zafar and Omaima Sohail. Khan , unfazed, continued playing positively so by the end of the Power Play, Pakistan were on 49-2, 10 runs ahead of their opponents.

But, once the wicket of Bismah Maroof fell in the 7th over, a collapse ensued as Pakistan lost their remaining seven wickets for 38 runs. Khan finished as the highest run scorer for Pakistan with her 23-ball-36; a knock that included six fours. She lacked support however, as wickets fell around her. The only other batter to reach double figures was Aliya Riaz, who scored a patient 12 off 24 balls before being run out due a catastrophic breakdown in communication. Pakistan were bowled out for 90, losing by 54 runs. Their WT20 campaign came to a disappointing end.

New Zealand however, have registered their first win of the tournament and still have a match against Ireland remaining. Their victory was largely due to their spinners, who pulled back the Pakistani batters brilliantly. Jess Watkin finished with figures of 3-9 and was named Player-of-the-Match, while Kerr also took 3-21.