Spinners strangle Pakistan in big New Zealand win

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 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.
On what the PCB can do: “Our grass-roots level is not that good, PCB are working on it. They are opening academies, and with the [development of the] grass-roots level we’ll get talent, we’ll get bench strength.
“And of course [playing] more matches [will help]. Because, as I said, if we play these kind of matches, we’ll get to know how we have to react in those situations. We are, every time, making the same mistakes. When we get these kind of matches more, then we’ll be able to cut these mistakes down.”
On domestic leagues: “I’m not sure about this. We’ll see how it goes. If it happens, it’s good for the girls. We always say that the leagues which countries have, like Australia, England and even Bangladesh, [that’s good for development].
“So if our girls get exposure from these kind of leagues, go there and play and we have our own league, it will help us. I would urge every country that they should consider Pakistan players, so that we grow at a better pace.”
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. 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.
Pakistan’s response was energetic and almost mirrored those final overs from New Zealand’s innings; and they managed to do it without losing any wickets for three overs. Javeria and Ayesha Zafar stunned New Zealand with seven boundaries in the first three overs, and at 31 in three overs, Pakistan had brought the asking rate down dramatically. Javeria hit five of those fours, cashing on short balls from Devine and putting pressure on 18-year-old Kerr, manipulating the leg-side field, and even riding her luck with an inside edge to get three boundaries off the teenager’s first over.