NELSON: New Zealand women’s bowling prowess came to the fore with right-arm medium pacer Holly Huddleston taking 4 for 20 before half-centuries from Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine studded their seven-wicket win over Pakistan Women in the fourth ODI in Nelson. That meant New Zealand extended their dominance in the series to go 4-0 up with one match remaining, and more importantly, become the third team after Australia and England to seal a spot in next year’s Women’s World Cup, leaving just one direct entry to be filled up. Pakistan, asked to make first use of a new surface at the Saxton Oval, stuttered to 158 in 48.1 overs, before New Zealand chased the total down with 165 balls remaining, having struck at well over seven an over. Bates dedicated the performance to victims of the earthquake that shook New Zealand on Monday. The match was preceded by a minute’s silence and players of both teams wore black armbands. “We wanted to pay our respects after a challenging and tragic week for New Zealand,” she said. “It’s been a tough week for some of the players who are based in Christchurch too, along with everyone else, and we wanted to go out and play some cricket to take our minds off that and honour those people who are really struggling at the moment.”
Early signs did not point to such a one-sided contest, however, as Pakistan had got themselves into a strong position, scoring 107 in the 28th over for the loss of just Nahida Khan for 16 in the 13th over. But Ayesha Zafar’s dismissal, caught and bowled off Amy Satterthwaite’s right-arm medium pace, for 52 – her maiden ODI fifty – triggered a collapse with Pakistan losing their last nine wickets for 51 runs. Satterthwaite dismissed Bismah Maroof for a first-ball duck, but Javeira Khan denied her the hat-trick. Captain Sana Mir tried to keep the fight going with 31, but ran out of partners rapidly, and was the last batsman dismissed. Huddleston finished with 4 for 20 in 7.1 overs. Lea Tahuhu and Satterthwaite took two wickets each and were both economical, while Bates and Ameila Kerr took one each.
New Zealand got off to a flier with Bates and Rachel Priest putting on 38 in 3.4 overs. Bates flayed Sadia Yousuf for five consecutive fours in the second over of the chase. Although Mir dismissed Priest with her fourth ball, it hardly slowed New Zealand down. Bates kept the carnage going in the company of Devine, promoted to No. 3, adding 94 in 14 overs. Bates biffed 66 off 52 balls and Devine struck 54 at just over a run a ball. Bates fell in the 18th over and Devine became Javeira Khan’s only victim less than three overs later, but with New Zealand needing just 17 and almost 30 full overs to play, it was too little too late for Pakistan.