NZ vs Pak women’s T20I series – Nida Dar and Bismah Maroof aim big after T20I series win in New Zealand

Before Sunday, no Asian women’s side had won a T20I match in New Zealand, with Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka losing all the games they played there. But over the past two days, Nida Dar’s side has changed all that in Dunedin, triumphing in the first T20I on Sunday, and on Tuesday, going one better, winning the second T20I and sealing the series in the process.
Following the second win, a glowing Bismah Maroof talked about the impact this win would have, not just on the confidence of the team, but “all the girls back home”.

“We’d been struggling for results for a while – it’s a big moment for us,” she said in a video released by PCB. “As a team, the way we showed character is outstanding. It’s a great moment for us and for all the girls back home. This is a morale booster for us, and we’ll carry the confidence of this, and it’s something that will give youngsters confidence too.”

While Pakistan have historically struggled against the traditionally stronger sides, there are inklings that this might be beginning to change. In September, Pakistan beat South Africa 3-0 in a T20I series at home, and won one of the three ODIs in the series that followed against them. It was something Dar was eager to stress on, and she expressed the desire to build on it.

“It’s been our wish for a long time that we perform this way against the big teams and beat the big teams,” she said. “Our team is gelling together nicely. The girls have taken lessons from the way cricket is played around the world and their intent is now obvious. Now we’re getting results; we won a series against South Africa and now New Zealand. I’m sure it’s onwards and upwards from here.

“It’d be nice to get a whitewash – we got a whitewash against South Africa, so we want to do it against the White Ferns. The conditions [in Dunedin] suit us, though it’s a bit windy, which can cause us problems. But the girls are responsible and [are] executing their roles perfectly and that makes me very optimistic.”

“This is the improvement we showed after three matches, so think about the strides we can take if we have a whole league here”

Nida Dar on the impact of the T20 exhibition matches in Rawalpindi earlier this year

It was Pakistan’s bowling that set the stage for both wins, with 22-year-old medium pacer Fatima Sana leading the way each time. Across the two games, she has registered figures of 8-0-40-6, with vital top-order wickets each time setting the tone.

Dar attributed the improvement to continued exposure, pointing to the need for a women’s T20 league in Pakistan. Earlier this year, three women’s exhibition matches took place in Rawalpindi, which saw players from abroad compete alongside Pakistani cricketers, with a view to testing out the viability of a full-fledged T20 league in the country.

“Our bowling has improved, our bowlers now rank amongst the top women’s bowlers,” Dar said. “It’s very important for us to have a league, because you learn a lot from the foreign players, and it builds experience.

“We learned from those three matches, where New Zealand and English players came too. This is the improvement we showed after three matches, so think about the strides we can take if we have a whole league here.”

The third WT20I will be played in Queenstown on December 9.

Danyal Rasool is ESPNcricinfo’s Pakistan correspondent. @Danny61000

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *