ICC Women's World Cup: New Zealand beat Pakistan by eight wickets

Sophie Devine smashed the most sixes in an ODI as New Zealand took another step towards the ICC Women’s World Cup semi-finals with a commanding eight-wicket win over Pakistan at Taunton.

The number-three batter delivered an exemplary array of hitting, scoring 93 from just 41 balls – an effort including seven fours and nine sixes as New Zealand reached seven points from five matches while Pakistan went out of reckoning for the knockout stages with a fifth straight loss.

Earlier, Hannah Rowe produced a superb ICC WWC debut to help bowl Pakistan out for 144, showing no nerves in a career-best figures of three for 22.

Sana Mir responded with 50 on her 100th ODI appearance for Pakistan, but five White Ferns bowlers were in the wickets in an almost-perfect team display.

“We learnt from our last game, saw how Rachel Priest went about her innings so hit through the line of the ball and knew it would pay off,” Devine said after setting the record for most sixes by a woman batter in an ODI innings.

“The sixes record will be nice to look back on, but the most important thing was the win and the points – winning clinically was a bonus. We know how important run-rate is going to be in this tournament, it’s so tight in those top five or six teams.

“To bowl a side out on an absolute road is a huge effort, the bowlers deserve huge credit. They gave us a nice easy job knocking off the runs.”

Pakistan started solidly with 35 for no wicket, though off-spinner Leigh Kasperek broke through twice with the new ball.

From there, Rowe stole the show, becoming the third bowler in three New Zealand games to be on a hat-trick when dismissing Javeria Wadood and Marina Iqbal in successive balls, both lbw.

Sana’s half-century from 83 balls held together the innings, but wickets tumbled as Lea Tahuhu – playing her 50th ODI – picked up two, while teenage leg-spinner Amelia Kerr also collected a couple.

That left New Zealand chasing 145 with Devine hitting her straps soon after Priest’s dismissal, reaching 50 from 27 balls, the second-fastest of the ICC WWC so far.

She showed no signs of stopping, beating the previous six-hitting record of seven in one innings, but fell late on to Nashra Sundhu, though the White Ferns eased home with 35 overs remaining.

“We didn’t have a good performance in either department,” admitted Sana. “We’ve taken a lot of pressure, but we can come and bounce back in the next two matches.

“Sophie Devine was phenomenal, we have to give her the credit with the way she played, she really punished the good and bad balls and there’s not much you can do with that.

“This type of game doesn’t go well with milestones, but it’s been an honour serving Pakistan for the team and the country, it’s a great moment reaching 100 appearances and I’m very thankful.”

Live Updates

15:29 – New Zealand win by 8 wickets

13:25 – Pakistan 143/9 with Mir the standout with 50.

12:18 – Pakistan 87/6

11:13 – Pakistan are 46/2 batting first here at Taunton

Match Preview

A big win over the West Indies pushed New Zealand back into the top four after four games at the ICC Women’s World Cup but captain Suzie Bates knows that every game is crucial ahead of today’s clash with Pakistan.

The White Ferns responded to the defeat against Australia in the best possible fashion, beating the West Indies by eight wickets and chasing down a target of 151 in less than 20 overs. That was enough to leapfrog South Africa in the points table, and with the game between the two sides having been washed out earlier in the tournament, their battle for a place in the last four could come down to net run-rate.

While New Zealand cannot focus solely on run-rate, Bates admits it could yet be crucial to her side’s chances of progression. “During this whole tournament we’ve understood that every game was going to be a big match,” she said. “Having the rain-affected match has made that even more important. Every game is almost a knock-out game so we have to bring our A game and play as well as we can against any opposition.

“When the run-rate comes into play too, you can’t take anyone lightly. It’s exciting because we felt that we hadn’t played cricket for a while, we had a week off but now we’ll go out and play so it will be nice to get into a rhythm.”

New Zealand return to Taunton two days after the big win over the West Indies, and face a Pakistan team still in search of a first victory in the tournament. Although not mathematically eliminated, Pakistan’s chances of progressing are slim, but captain Sana Mir feels the team has learned a lot so far, and needs to build on that experience.

She said: “We may not have had the best tournament so far but I think we are better than we have shown so far. What’s very important is that we are able to bat out the 50 overs like we did against Australia. We need the young girls who are playing in the future to get an opportunity to face the best bowlers in the world. This is a learning curve for the newcomers.

“I think we have started very well with the ball against all the big teams so we’re not afraid of New Zealand. I think with the kind of attitude and consistency we’re showing with our bowling, particularly early on, we can hurt them.”

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