Latest Match Report – NZ (W) vs Pakistan (W) 1st ODI 2023/24

New Zealand 365 for 4 (Bates 108, Besudenhout 86, Kerr 83, Devine 70, Sandhu 1-52) Pakistan 234 (Amen 105, Muneefa 44, Kerr 3-44, Tahuhu 2-45) 131 runs

A powerful batting display from New Zealand’s top four set up a big win for New Zealand in the first ODI against Pakistan in Queenstown as they took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Chasing a huge target of 366, Pakistan lost by 131 runs.

The result aside, it was a double blow for Pakistan as fast bowler Diana Baig was ruled out of the series with a training injury and skipper Nida Dar left the field during the match after being hit in the face while bowling. In Pakistan’s chase, Chitra Amin scored 105 runs but did not find much support from the other end as Pakistan lost by 131 runs chasing a huge target of 366.

New Zealand openers Susie Bates and Bernadine Besuidenhout added 51 runs in the powerplay. They then began to pick up the pace and continued to hit fours to take New Zealand’s total of 100 runs without a hitch. Besutenhout reached his half-century in 50 balls in the 18th over, while Bates reached his half-century in 57 balls in the 22nd over. Besuidenhout’s stay at the crease ended a run-out when Pakistan were chased down for 165 to score 86 off one ball, his best performance in ODIs.

Amelia Kerr joined Bates and the duo kept the momentum from slipping as they kept piling on the runs. The duo combined to take New Zealand past 200, with Bates bringing up his century with a boundary in the 38th over. However, Um-e-Hani was dismissed for 108 in the next over.

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Shortly after, in the 44th over, Darr, who bowled his seventh over of the match, was on divine strike when the ball hit him in the face. He received on-field medical treatment before leaving and is doubtful for the second and third games of the series.

Captain Sophie Devine and Amelia took charge of the proceedings as they began to build towards a strong total. Devine switched gears in the 47th over – until then a single six had not been hit in the New Zealand innings – hitting Fatima Sana for two sixes off the last ball of the over. In the next over, he smashed Omaima Sohail for 27 off his bowling for four sixes. In the process, he also reached his half-century in 29 balls.

Amelia scored 83 off 69 balls, cementing her status as the highest run-scorer in ODIs this year. It was his fourth 50-plus score and took him to 460 in seven innings in 2023. Devine scored a 36-ball 70 off the last ball of the innings as the hosts posted a maximum of 365 for 4. Totals in Women’s ODIs in New Zealand This is the first time that the top four batsmen of a side have all scored 70 or more in a Women’s ODI.

In reply, Pakistan also got off to a solid start, with Amin and Muneefa Ali bringing up their 50-run opening stand in the ninth over. Amin registered his half-century off 51 balls in the 14th over but sent back Divine Munibah for 44 in the 19th over. Fran Jonas replaced Darr on 10 and dismissed Shatab Shams.

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The New Zealand bowlers slowed Pakistan down considerably after that, rarely conceding boundaries as the required run-rate increased. Amin lost three more partners before getting his century, his fourth in the form. He was eventually run-out for 105, at which point Pakistan needed 154 off 36 balls.

In the middle, Pakistan lost 6 for 41 and could only manage 234 in the end, Kher took the last wicket with a ball to spare and took 3 for 44.

„The way we went with Batt was really nice and it’s a team we talked about how we wanted to play 50-over cricket,” Bates said. „And Sophie inside [No.] 4 was reasonably new and we didn’t do it right, but I thought in Bernie [Bezuidenhout] Above order was very good. That partnership set up the match and then the melee [Amelia Kerr] And Sophie came and played. To give us 365, very impressive on what is actually a good wicket. But to get that score, everyone played the conditions well.

Devine, who had previously played as an opener in ODIs, has recently been pushed to the No.4 position. After a 36-ball 70, he impressed with the ball as well, picking up a crucial wicket to break the opening stand and conceding just 19 runs in his five overs.

„Meli was also going at a very fast pace and the way Sophie swept the rope was very easy. That’s why we kept her. [No.] 4, She is one of the most destructive players in world cricket and she can clear the ropes with ease. It is a pleasure to have the long sought after result. She was outstanding and she really changed the game not only with the bat but also with the ball.”

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Shruti Ravindranath is Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo

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