Pakistan Women's Tour Of New Zealand 2023, 2nd T20I: Aliya Riaz, Fatima Sana Power PAK To 10-Run Win; Visitors Pull Off Historic Series Triumph

The Nida Dar-led Pakistan successfully defended a total of 137 to take a 2-0 lead in the three-match series. This is PAK women's first-ever T20I series victory against New Zealand, and their only triumph outside Asia and Ireland

Pakistan players celebrate their T20I series win against New Zealand in Dunedin.

A thrilling 10-run win over hosts New Zealand in Dunedin on Tuesday, and the Pakistan women's cricket team created their own piece of history. The Nida Dar-led side, who defended 137/6 in the second T20I match, have taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series: meaning -- Pakistan's first-ever T20I series win against the White Ferns. This is also Pakistan's first T20I series win away from home since their victory over Bangladesh in October 2018, and their only one outside Asia and Ireland. (Cricket News)

New Zealand captain Sophie Devine won the toss for the second successive time at the University Oval, and this time, the batting great opted to bowl first. But once again, the double-sport international's call backfired. For the record, the 34-year-old from Wellington is also a hockey international.

Muneeba Ali gave Pakistan a flying start, hitting 35 off 28 balls with the help of six fours. Former skipper Bismah Maroof (21 off 26) and Aliya Riaz (32 not out off 22), then, added crucial runs to help the visitors post a challenging total of 137/6 in 20 overs. For New Zealand, Fran Jonas (2/21) and Molly Penfold (2/17) took a brace each.

Pakistan's defence started on a rousing note with Sadia Iqbal claiming the wicket of Bernadine Bezuidenhout in the very first over. The New Zealand batters, who could manage only 127/6 in the series opener, once again struggled against the Pakistani bowlers. 

By the end of the sixth over, the hosts were four down with star batter Suzie Bates becoming the latest wicket to fall. Georgia Plimmer (28 off 28) and Hannah Rowe (33 off 24) tried to revive the chase, but Pakistan kept their nerves to seal a 10-run victory. Fatima Sana (3/22) was the pick of the Pakistan bowlers.

In the first T20I on Sunday, Pakistan chased down a target of 128 runs to win by six wickets. The third and final game of the series will be played in Queenstown on Saturday.

The two teams will compete in a three-match ODI series as part of the ongoing ICC Women's Championship 2022-25, which also serves as the qualifying event for the eight-team Women's Cricket World Cup 2025.

As things stand now, Pakistan are fifth in the 10-team ICC Women's Championship 2022-25 table with 14 points from 15 matches (seven wins, eight defeats). New Zealand are sixth with 12 points from 12 matches (five wins, five defeats and two no results).

Australia (18 from 12) lead the table with England (15 from 12) and India (15 from nine) second and third, respectively. South Africa (14 from nine), Sri Lanka (11 from 15), Bangladesh (11 from 12), the West Indies (eight from 12) and Ireland (two from 12) are the other teams.

New Zealand Women vs Pakistan Women, 2nd T20I playing XIs:
New Zealand:
Bernadine Bezuidenhout (wk), Suzie Bates, Amelia Kerr, Sophie Devine (c), Maddy Green, Georgia Plimmer, Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu, Molly Penfold, Eden Carson, Fran Jonas
Pakistan: Muneeba Ali, Shawaal Zulfiqar, Nida Dar (c), Bismah Maroof, Aliya Riaz, Omaima Sohail, Fatima Sana, Diana Baig, Najiha Alvi (wk), Nashra Sandhu, Sadia Iqbal

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