DUNEDIN: Pakistan women’s team created history on Sunday as they defeated New Zealand by seven wickets in the first T20I at the University of Otago Oval in Dunedin.
Chasing 128-run target, Pakistan’s opening pair of Shawaal Zulfiqar and Muneeba Ali provided a decent 40-run start to the innings. Muneeba (23 off 24, four fours) 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 right-handed batter Shawaal. Playing her sixth T20I and first on New Zealand soil, 18-year-old Shawaal scored her highest T20I score of 41 off 42 balls, smashing seven boundaries.
Following Shawaal’s departure at the end of the 13th over with 91 runs on the board, Nida too was dismissed after a quick-fire 23 off 14 balls, including a four and a six.
With back-to-back wickets falling, the experienced pair of Bismah Maroof and Aliya Riaz got together and guided the team to a seven-wicket win with 10 balls to spare. Aliya returned unbeaten on 25 off 12 balls. Her innings included two fours and a six, the latter of which she struck on the second ball of the 19th over to finish the match. Bismah was undefeated on 13 off 18 balls, hitting a four.
"The victory vibes in Dunedin," the Pakistan Cricket Board wrote on X, sharing scenes from Otago Oval. "Grateful for the support we received in the first T20I."
This marked the first win for Pakistan women’s team over the White Ferns in the T20I format.
Earlier, after opting to bat first, New Zealand were restricted to 127 for six courtesy of a fine bowling display by the touring side. Right-arm fast Fatima Sana, who missed the Bangladesh tour due to injury, capitalized on the overcast conditions and bowled a spell of four overs, giving away only 18 runs and bagging three wickets. Nida, Diana Baig and Aliya took a wicket each.
For New Zealand, Maddy Green was the top run-getter, scoring 44 not out off 28 balls, hitting four fours.
Pakistan will now take on New Zealand in the second T20I on Tuesday at the same venue, while the third and final T20I of the series will be played in Queenstown on December 9.