Fatima, Shawaal lead Pakistan women to historic win over NZ

DUNEDIN-Pakistan women’s team created history on Sunday, defeating New Zealand women by seven wickets in the first T20I at the University of Otago Oval in Dunedin. 
This marked the first win for Pakistan women’s team over the New Zealand women – also known as White Ferns – in the T20I format. Chasing 128 to win, Pakistan’s opening pair of Shawaal Zulfiqar and Muneeba Ali provided a decent 40-run start to the innings. Muneeba (23 off 24) was the first batter to return to the pavilion. 
At that stage, captain Nida Dar promoted herself up in the order and knitted 51 runs for the second wicket with 18-year-old batter Shawaal. Playing her sixth T20I and first on New Zealand soil, Shawaal scored her highest T20I score of 41 off 42 balls, smashing seven fours. Following Shawaal’s departure, Nida too was dismissed after a quick-fire 23 off 14 balls, including a four and a six.
With back-to-back wickets falling, Bismah Maroof and Aliya Riaz got together and guided the team to a seven-wicket win with 10 balls to spare. Aliya made unbeaten 25 off 12 while Bismah was undefeated on 13 off 18 balls. 
Earlier batting first, New Zealand were restricted to 127-6. Right-arm fast Fatima Sana, who missed the Bangladesh tour due to injury, bowled a spell of four overs and bagged three wickets for 18. Nida, Diana Baig and Aliya took a wicket each. For New Zealand, Maddy Green was the top run-getter, scoring 43 not out off 28 balls, hitting five fours. Pakistan will now face Black Caps in the second T20I on Tuesday (Dec 5) at the same venue at 1300 local time.

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