Spinners strangle Pakistan in big New Zealand win

Cricket

New Zealand women 144 for 6 (Bates 35, Devine 32, Riaz 2-29) beat Pakistan women 90 (Javeria 36, Watkin 3-9, Kerr 3-21) by 54 runs

World No. 3 team New Zealand took their first step towards sealing third place in Group B with a comprehensive win over Pakistan. With India’s result against Ireland earlier on Thursday ruling both these teams out of the semi-final race before the match began, the tempo of the game was fast and free-flowing. But New Zealand’s batting might was backed up by their spinners in the middle overs, and after enduring a nervous start courtesy Javeria Khan in their defence of 144, New Zealand folded Pakistan rapidly to seal the 54-run win. Offspinner Jess Watkin took 3 for 9 in her four overs and was chiefly responsible for Pakistan’s slow combustion. Legspinner Amelia Kerr played support with 3 for 21.

Both teams were aggressive during the batting Powerplays, but New Zealand found more in their top order than Pakistan would in chase. They reverted to their traditional opening pair of Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine and it was rewarded instantly when the pair put on 59 for the opening stand. Importantly, New Zealand didn’t let the rate fall even after Bates was dismissed, with No. 3 Amy Satterthwaite dropping anchor and allowing the more settled Devine to take on the attack. This was followed by another productive partnership between Satterthwaite and Katie Martin that kept the run rate hovering about 6.5 till the 18th over.

Pakistan bowled tightly in pockets, but sloppy ground fielding and a dropped catches seemed to regularly make their way in and break any passage where they created pressure. Any success they would have with the ball was delayed, with four wickets falling in the last two overs, but even there, it was bittersweet. Martin and Maddy Green combined to make 18 runs off boundaries as New Zealand pushed to finish on 144.

Full report to follow…

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