The victory over Ireland has given Pakistan a boost, while New Zealand must try and get among the points after losing to India and Australia.
New Zealand v Pakistan
WT20 Match 14
Guyana National Stadium, Providence
New Zealand came in to the ICC Women’s World T20 2018 on the back of a 3-0 defeat to Australia in a bilateral series. But they have been one of the top teams in the format, and were expected to scrap for the two top spots in Group B and get into the semi-finals.
They are not out of the race yet, but losses to India and Australia – the White Ferns did have the toughest schedule – have seriously dented their prospects. Now, not only must they beat Pakistan and Ireland, they will have to hope for a couple of other results to go their way too.
They did start all right – Harmanpreet Kaur’s electric 51-ball 103 set them a steep target of 195 but they made a dash for it, getting to 160/9 with Suzie Bates hitting 67 and Katey Martin 39. Against the Australians, then, they had to chase 153/7 after a decent bowling effort. But, again, Bates (48) and Martin (24) were the only ones to do anything substantial with the bat and they fell well short.
So it’s the batters who have let New Zealand down, particularly captain Amy Satterthwaite and star all-rounder Sophie Devine, who has been dropped down from her usual opening slot.
“Sophie and myself have not scored any runs in the tournament. We can't be winning games if we're not stepping up in situations like this,” Satterthwaite said after the Australia loss – that’s pretty much where the problem lies for the team.
Pakistan, meanwhile, have impressed in patches in their three games so far. In the opener against the Southern Stars, they conceded 165/5 and got to 113/8 in reply, but against India, both Bismah Maroof (53) and Nida Dar (52) scored big to help put up 133/7. It took India 19 overs to get past the target.
Then came captain Javeria Khan’s excellent 52-ball 74* against Ireland, which helped Pakistan script a 38-run win.
The bowling has traditionally been Pakistan’s stronger suit, and they have held their own. What’s been heartening is the batting form of the experienced trio, all of whom have hit half-centuries already.
More of the same, and the New Zealanders might find registering their first win rather tricky.
Suzie Bates (New Zealand): In what has been a poor batting show by a top-notch team, Bates has stood out with scores of 67 and 48. Yes, the others need to step up, but the form batter must keep the runs coming.
Nida Dar (Pakistan): Apart from the half-century, Dar has also kept it tight with her off-spinners, conceding just 69 runs from 12 overs in the three games, picking up a wicket but, crucially, keeping an economy rate of 5.75. That will come in handy against New Zealand’s big hitters.
The pitch in Providence has given the batters plenty of cause for joy, and that shouldn’t change. What also hasn’t changed is the weather forecast, which says plenty of rain again. But none of the matches have been affected yet in a big way, which is a positive.
New Zealand: Amy Satterthwaite (c) Suzie Bates, Bernadine Bezuidenhout, Sophie Devine, Kate Ebrahim, Maddy Green, Holly Huddleston, Hayley Jensen, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Katey Martin, Anna Peterson, Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu, Jess Watkin
Pakistan: Javeria Khan (c), Aiman Anwar, Aliya Riaz, Anam Amin, Ayesha Zafar, Diana Baig, Muneeba Ali Siddiqui, Nahida Khan, Nashra Sundhu, Natalia Parvaiz, Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Sana Mir, Sidra Amin, Sidra Nawaz