Former and current skippers join hands to script maiden victory over New Zealand, by five wickets.
An outstanding spell of off-spin bowling by Sana Mir, the former captain, and a sedate 36 not out by Bismah Maroof, the current captain, helped Pakistan Women register its maiden One-Day International win over New Zealand Women in their 13th face-off since they first met each other in 1997.
Mir's spell of 4 for 25 in 8.4 overs helped bowl New Zealand out for 155 in 43.4 overs, Sam Curtis's 50 being the only knock of substance at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Sunday (November 5). Pakistan then survived a middle-order wobble to chase down the target with seven balls to spare and register a historic five-wicket win in the ICC Women's Championship fixture as it reached 156 for 5. New Zealand, which had already won the first two matches, thus took the three-match series 2-1.
Pakistan's chase got off to a good start with Nahid Khan (23) and Sidra Ameen putting on a solid 40 for the opening wicket. Another 31-run stand between Ameen and Javeria Khan ensued before the former fell for a watchful 32.
It looked like smooth sailing for Pakistan until the 29th over, when Javeria was dismissed by Anna Peterson for 29. The off-break bowler struck again with the wicket of Iram Javed in her next over to reduce Pakistan to 110 for 4. Aliya Riaz's dismissal in the 38th over further threatened Pakistan’s march, but Maroof batted sensibly to close out the game, with Mir (12 not out) offering dour company at the other end.
Earlier, New Zealand got off to a terrible start on opting to bat as the Pakistan bowlers began cutting through the top-order.
Sophie Devine, who came into the game on the back of scores of 103 and 62, was the first to fall, being run out in the second over. The early loss of its in-form batter forced New Zealand to embrace circumspection, and it had managed just nine runs in 5.1 overs when Suzie Bates, the skipper, fell to Mir.
The score had crawled to 28 in the 11th over when Amy Satterthwaite was bowled by Aiman Anwer for a painstaking 24-ball five, and wickets then continued to fall at frequent intervals.
Katey Martin's dismissal left New Zealand on 50 for 4 and the score ticked over to 85 when Maddy Green was dismissed by Bismah for 26, the second-highest score in the New Zealand innings.
A stand of 40 between Curtis and Anna Peterson (15) for the sixth wicket offered the visitor some respite, before wickets started tumbling again, with Mir making light work of the lower half. Sadia Yousuf's spell of 2 for 23 in 10 overs was just as crucial as Mir's as it also included the wicket of Curtis for a round 50 when she looked poised to add vital runs.
The focus will now shift to the four-match Twenty20 International series, starting at the same venue on Wednesday.
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