DUNEDEN: In a historic moment on Sunday, the Pakistan women’s cricket team secured their first-ever victory against New Zealand, triumphing by seven wickets in the inaugural Twenty20 International at the University of Otago Oval.
The key contributors to this groundbreaking win were pacer Fatima Sana, who delivered an impressive bowling performance, and opener Shawaal Zulfiqar, who exhibited clinical batting skills. Fatima claimed three wickets, conceding only 18 runs, restricting New Zealand to 127-6 after they opted to bat first.
Shawaal, along with fellow opener Muneeba Ali, laid a solid foundation for Pakistan’s chase, adding 40 runs before Muneeba’s departure. Captain Nida Dar then partnered with Shawaal, crafting a crucial 51-run stand for the second wicket.
Shawaal, playing her sixth T20I and her first on New Zealand soil, achieved her highest T20I score, contributing 41 runs off 42 balls, adorned with seven boundaries. After Shawaal’s dismissal in the 13th over, Nida added a quick 23 off 14 balls before departing.
Despite these setbacks, the experienced duo of Bismah Maroof and Aliya Riaz ensured a smooth finish for Pakistan, crossing the target with 10 balls to spare. Aliya remained unbeaten on 25 off 12 balls, including two fours and a six that sealed the victory in the 19th over. Bismah concluded the match undefeated with 13 off 18 balls.
In the bowling department, Fatima exploited the overcast conditions, while Nida, Diana Baig, and Aliya each claimed a wicket for Pakistan. Maddy Green emerged as the top-scorer for New Zealand, contributing an unbeaten 43 off 28 balls.
The second match of the three-game series is scheduled at the same venue on Tuesday, promising more thrilling cricket action. Overall, Pakistan Women make history with a seven-wicket victory over New Zealand in the first T20 International at Otago Oval.