Teen tweaker stars in White Ferns triumph

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Seventeen-year-old leg-spinner Amelia Kerr led a clinical bowling performance which was backed by Sophie Devine’s ruthless 48-ball 62 as New Zealand Women raced to a seven-wicket win over Pakistan Women in the second One-Day International to take a winning 2-0 lead in the three-match series on Thursday (November 2).

Opting to bat in their second encounter of the ICC Women’s Championship at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Pakistan was bowled out for just 147 in 49.1 overs. New Zealand hunted down the total with a massive 26 overs to spare, finishing on 148 for 3 in 24 overs.

Having lost a closely fought first match by eight runs, Pakistan struggled from the outset, losing Ayesha Zafar, the opener, in the seventh over. Nahida Khan (39 off 76) and Bismah Maroof (36 off 62), the captain, tried to consolidate the innings with a 46-run stand for the third wicket.

The two batted steadily but failed to score at a decent pace. After Nahida was sent back by Suzie Bates in the 25th over, a dramatic collapse ensued. Only Sana Mir stuck around for a while before becoming Kerr’s third victim. The former skipper smacked four boundaries en route to a 46-ball 31.

For New Zealand, Kerr finished with figures of 3 for 35, while Hannah Rowe and Leigh Kasperek picked up two wickets apiece.

Bates (33 off 42) and Devine got New Zealand off to a flying start as the two put on 80 for the opening wicket in just 12.1 overs. Devine, who scored a brilliant 119-ball 103 in the previous game, crafted eight boundaries before falling to Javeria Khan, the off-spinner, in the 20th over.

Javeria then got rid of Katey Martin, the wicketkeeper-batter, for eight but by then, the game had already slipped away from Pakistan’s grasp. Amy Satterthwaite (25) and Maddy Green (10) scored the remaining runs to help their side add another two points to the Women’s Championship tally.

The third and final ODI will also be played in Sharjah on Sunday before focus shifts to the four-match Twenty20 International series.