Cricket: Pakistan complete clinical win over White Ferns in opening T20 international

  • 03/12/2023

The White Ferns have been handily beaten in the opening Twenty20 international against Pakistan in Dunedin on Sunday.

The visitors were clinical in chasing down the New Zealanders' subpar total of 127/6, hitting the winnings runs with 10 balls and seven wickets to spare to claim their first T20 win in Aotearoa.

After winning the toss, the hosts' innings never really hit its stride in the slow conditions on offer at University Oval. The Pakistan bowlers' consistency ensured runs were difficult to come by, forcing some false shots from the Ferns.

Shawaal Zulfiqar top scored for Pakistan.
Shawaal Zulfiqar top scored for Pakistan. Photo credit: Photosport

Opener Bernadine Bezuindenhout (13) and Suzie Bates (28) both failed to capitalise on encouraging starts.

Captain Sophie Devine (11) and Georgia Plimmer (4) fell cheaply, as Maddy Green provided the anchor of the NZ effort.

Green carved 43 runs off 28 balls with five boundaries before carrying her bat off University Oval as the White Ferns' top scorer, leading her team to at least a moderately competitive total.

Pakistan looked to be sailing towards victory until the White Ferns struck twice in quick succession, with Devine removing dangerwoman Shawaal Zulfiqar (41) and Eden Carson sending skipper Nida Dar (23) packing.

But Bismah Maroof (13no) and Aliya Riaz (25no) combined to help Pakistan avoid any nerves, as Aliya crushed a six back over Jess Kerr's head to close out victory.

The teams remain in Dunedin for the second match in the three-game series on Tuesday.

Pakistan 132/3 (Zulfiqar 41, Aliya 25; Devine 2/23)

New Zealand 127/6 (Green 44no, Bates 28; Fatima 3/18)