The team secured their first-ever win against New Zealand in a thrilling encounter at the University of Otago Oval. The triumph, a seven-wicket victory, showcased a remarkable performance by pacer Fatima Sana and opener Shawaal Zulfiqar. Fatima’s stellar bowling limited New Zealand to 127-6 after they opted to bat first, while Shawaal’s clinical batting set the tone for Pakistan’s successful chase.
Fatima Sana emerged as the star with the ball, claiming three crucial wickets while conceding only 18 runs. Her exceptional performance, coupled with contributions from Nida Dar, Diana Baig, and Aliya Riaz, ensured that New Zealand struggled to find its rhythm in overcast conditions. Maddy Green, with an unbeaten 43 off 28 balls, emerged as the top-scorer for the hosts.
Pakistan’s chase began on a solid note, thanks to Shawaal Zulfiqar’s impressive innings of 41 off 42 balls. Partnering with Muneeba Ali, the duo added 40 runs for the first wicket. Captain Nida Dar then joined forces with Shawaal, crafting a crucial 51-run partnership for the second wicket. Shawaal, playing her sixth T20I and debuting on New Zealand soil, achieved her highest T20I score, showcasing her talent with seven boundaries.
After Shawaal’s departure, Nida Dar played a quick-fire innings of 23 off 14 balls. However, with both batters dismissed, the responsibility fell on the experienced shoulders of Bismah Maroof and Aliya Riaz. The duo steered Pakistan to victory with 10 balls to spare, with Aliya finishing unbeaten on 25 off 12 balls, including a decisive six to seal the win.
The second match of the three-game series is scheduled at the same venue on Tuesday, promising another exciting clash between the two sides.