Nida Dar, Pakistan eye historic T20I series sweep in New Zealand

The Girls in Green defeated New Zealand in T20I and became first Asian side to do it

By Web Desk
December 05, 2023
Pakistan women's team after beating New Zealand in Dunedin - PCB

No Asian women's team had managed to secure a T20I victory in New Zealand until sunday. Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka had faced defeats in all their matches played there. However, within the past two days, Nida Dar's team has rewritten history in Dunedin.

They claimed victory in the initial T20I on Sunday and excelled further on Tuesday by clinching the second T20I, consequently sealing the series.

Following the team's second triumph, a radiant Bismah Maroof discussed the significance of this win, highlighting its impact not only on the team's confidence but also on "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."

In the past, Pakistan has faced difficulties against traditionally stronger teams, but there are indications that this trend might be starting to shift. In September, Pakistan achieved a 3-0 victory over South Africa in a T20I series on home soil, and also secured a win in one of the three ODIs that followed. This was a point Dar was keen to emphasise, expressing her ambition to further develop from this success.

"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."

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

It was Pakistan's bowling that laid the groundwork for both victories, led by 22-year-old medium pacer Fatima Sana on both occasions. Throughout the two matches, she recorded figures of 8-0-40-6, claiming crucial wickets from the opposition's top order, setting the momentum each time.

Dar credited the improvement to consistent exposure, highlighting the necessity for a women's T20 league in Pakistan. Earlier this year, three women's exhibition matches were held in Rawalpindi, featuring international players alongside Pakistani cricketers, aiming to assess the potential for a fully-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. After T20Is, the three ODIs, part of the ICC Women’s Championship, will take place in Queenstown and Christchurch from 12th to 18th December.