ICC Women’s Championship: Pakistan down New Zealand to make history

Following today’s triumph, Pakistan have ascended to the second spot in the ICC Women’s Championship

Pakistan women’s cricket team players celebrate their victory against New Zealand in Christchurch, New Zealand on December 18, 2023. — PCB

For the first time in history, Pakistan women’s cricket team on Monday secured an ODI victory over New Zealand — on the Kiwis’ soil.

The Green Shirts achieved a significant victory in their third ODI at Christchurch’s Hagley Oval. During the ongoing trip, Pakistan emerged victorious in two T20s and one ODI against the White Ferns so far.

Following today’s triumph, Pakistan have ascended to the second spot in the ICC Women’s Championship, amassing 16 points from 18 matches. The Girls in Green were placed in sixth position before the game.

Earlier today, Pakistan thumped New Zealand by three runs after a super-over drama. The Green Shirts set a 12-run target in the super-over courtesy of Aliya Riaz’s heroics with bat and they successfully defended the given target as Sadia Iqbal made things difficult for New Zealand batters by restricting them to eight runs.

During their chase of a 252-run target, Pakistan suffered two early blows as they lost the wickets of Muneeba Ali and Sidra Ameen for just 37 runs in 7.4 overs.

It looked like the Green Shirts would struggle and continue to lose wickets but Bismah Maroof and Aliya Riaz’s 101-run stand put the visitors back in the game.

Riaz fell six runs short of a well-deserved half-century by becoming the victim of Jess Kerr for 44 runs. But Maroof continued to show her prowess and the left-handed batter top-scored for her side by contributing 68 runs with five boundaries, for which she was also named the Player of the Match.

However, it was Fatima Sana and Natalia Pervaiz’s quick knocks down the order that took Pakistan close to the target. Sana scored 36 off 33 while Natalia posted 26 off 23.

Pakistan needed eight runs off six balls in the last over with just a wicket in hand, but Najiha Alvi helped her side to avoid a whitewash as her valuable contributions at the last wicket helped the visitors level the game.

Batting first, a dominant display with the bat by Amelia Kerr and Maddy Green powered New Zealand to a competitive 252-run target.

Kerr scored 77 off 87 balls with 10 boundaries while Green played an unbeaten knock of 65 runs off 69 deliveries.

Skipper Sophie Devine (29) and Suzie Bates (24) were the other top scorers in the game.

The ODI series, part of the ICC Women’s Championship, concluded 2-1 in favour of the White Ferns.

However, during the tour, the Pakistan women’s team achieved a remarkable feat by becoming the first Asian side to claim a T20I series victory against the White Ferns, triumphing with a 2-1 series win.

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