New Zealand confirm semi-final spot with 103-run victory over Pakistan

Dubai, January 24, 2023 (PPI-OT):New Zealand solidified their place at the top of the Group 2, Super Six standings, following a convincing, 103-run win over Pakistan in the ICC Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup in Potchefstroom on Tuesday.

The New Zealand top-order was aggressive upfront, batting first for the first time in the tournament so far, after they were put in by Pakistan, who won the toss and elected to field. Emma McLeod (32 from 18 balls) and Anna Browning (31 from 25 balls) laid a solid foundation with their opening stand of 47.

They cantered at nearly 10 runs an over in the first five overs, before McLeod skied Anosha Nasir to return to the hut. She was well caught by Rida Aslam, who kept eyes on the ball, even as a teammate collided with her.

The star of the Kiwis’ effort was Georgia Plimmer, who continued a fine tournament with a classy 53 off 38 deliveries.

Finding gaps at will, she helped herself to five fours, as she took her side beyond 150. She fell to the penultimate ball of the innings, as the New Zealanders sought to pile on even more runs to a total that stretched out to 178 for seven.

Pakistan had looked comfortable in chasing 114 against Ireland just a day before, but the Kiwis’ total was an altogether far more daunting proposition. Their cause was not helped by losing Shawaal Zulfiqar to the very first ball of the chase.

Things didn’t get much better during the Power play, as Pakistan were reduced to 17 for four inside six overs. Browning, who took the opening wicket was at her miserly best, giving away just five runs in her spell of four overs.

New Zealand was strangling the scoring rate, and only Areesha Noor Bhatti’s patient 24 from 39 balls arrested the capitulation somewhat.

It was too little, too late however, as her fellow batters fell all around her. A measure of the pressure exerted on Pakistan was the three run outs effected by New Zealand. The best of them was to get rid of Bhatti herself.

She nudged one wide of Paige Loggenberg at cover and called for a single, but Loggenberg moved quickly and threw down the one stump she had to aim at, to confirm New Zealand’s utter domination on the day.

Pakistan closed their innings on 75 for seven, still 103 runs shy of the mark that Izzy Sharp’s charges had set.

The result ended Pakistan’s hopes of making the semi-finals, and New Zealand will now wait for England’s final group game to see whether they finish top of the standings, or in second place.

Scores in brief:

Toss: Pakistan won the toss and elected to bowl first.

New Zealand 178 for seven in 20 overs (Georgia Plimmer 53, Emma McLeod 32, Anna Browning 31, Anosha Nasir three for 32)

Pakistan 75 for seven in 20 overs (Areesha Noor Bhatti 24, Anosha Nasir 11 not out, Natasha Codyre two for 14, Anna Browning one for 5)

New Zealand won by 103 runs.

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