SHARJAH: Pakistan fell to New Zealand by eight runs in the ICC Women’s Championship series which kicked off in Sharjah on Tuesday.
New Zealand Women scored 240-9 off 50 overs, propelled by opener Sophie Devine’s 103 off 119 balls.
Sana Mir, the former ODI captain who has now been replaced by Bismah Maroof, claimed three wickets, followed by Sadia Yousuf and Javeria Khan who took two each.
New skipper Maroof said before the match she was confident of doing well against New Zealand in the second edition of the ICC Women’s Championship, which runs from 2017-2020 on the same format as the previous event with all eight sides – Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan South Africa, Sri Lanka and the Windies — taking on each other in three ODIs.
“We are geared up and looking forward to gain the maximum out of Sharjah’s conditions and beat them for the first time”, she said.
Pakistan have lost all their previous 10 ODIs to New Zealand, the last defeat occurring at the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 in Taunton when New Zealand prevailed by eight wickets.
World Cup 2021 hosts New Zealand and the three other top teams from this championship will gain direct qualification for ICC’s pinnacle 50-over event while the remaining four sides will get a second chance through the ICC Women’s World Cup qualifier event.
In the ICC Women’s Championship, teams get two points for each win, one point for a tie or no-result and no points for a loss.
After enduring the hot and humid weather during the practice session in Sharjah cricket ground, New Zealand captain Suzie Bates said, “We’re playing all the games on the same ground, so hopefully we can learn a bit along the way as we go. The heat is going to be the biggest challenge.”
Pakistan v New Zealand series itinerary:
31 October: 1st IWC ODI, Sharjah
2 November: 2nd IWC ODI, Sharjah
5 November: 3rd IWC ODI, Sharjah
Pakistan: Bismah Maroof (captain), Aiman Anwar, Aliya Riaz, Ayesha Zafar, Bibi Nahida, Diana Baig, Iram Javed, Javeria Wadood, Nashra Sandhu, Natalia Pervaiz, Sidra Amin, Sidra Nawaz, Sana Mir, Sadia Yousaf
New Zealand: Suzie Bates (captain), Sam Curtis, Sophie Devine, Maddy Green, Holly Huddleston, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Katey Martin, Thamsyn Newton, Katie Perkins, Anna Peterson, Hannah Rowe, Amy Satterthwaite, Lea Tahuhu